ONDREJ CELUSTKA insists his brief loan stint in Italy has prepared him for Paolo Di Canio’s coaching methods.
Sunderland’s new signing was just 20 when he joined Serie A side Palermo on a four-month loan from Slavia Prague in 2010.
Celustka made only one appearance as a substitute during his time in Italy, but worked under manager Delio Rossi - the man in charge of Lazio when Di Canio returned to his hometown club at the tail end of his playing career.
And after arriving on Wearside this week, Czech right-back Celustka believes that link will help him adjust to Di Canio’s blueprint for Sunderland’s full-backs.
Celustka said: “He told me he had worked with Delio Rossi, who is the coach who trained me at Palermo.
“So they probably have the same opinions for tactics.
“The first thing for me as a right back is to be 100 per cent ready to defend and then when there is the option to go forwards, then I can go.”
The 24-year-old added: “I played just one game for Palermo. I was young and not so experienced and I think it is difficult for young players to play there in Italy because tactics and experience are very important.
“In defence, they had three players in the national team so I was waiting for some players to get injured so I could play, not that I wished it!”
Celustka arrives initially on a season-long loan from Turkish side Trabzonspor, although he has immediately stressed his eagerness to earn a permanent move to the Stadium of Light.
After two seasons in the Turkish league, Celustka insists it was the right time to leave Trabzonspor and has already targeted a top finish for the Black Cats.
Celustka, who has three years remaining on his contract in Turkey, added: “Trabzonspor is one of the four best clubs in Turkey, so it is a big club.
“In my first year we played in the Champions League and did well. We finished in third position in our group and there was only one point difference between us and Moscow in second.
“My second year was much worse as we didn’t take any cup. From there, I wanted to leave and this was a very good opportunity to play here.
“I want to play as many matches as I can. I hope that we can finish in the top half of the table.
“I think that in every match we play, we should try to get into the top half of the table.”