PAOLO Di Canio wants to get rid of a culture of self-diagnosis which he feels is spreading within the Swindon Town squad.
The Robins boss revealed to the local press on Thursday that four players have excused themselves from training with various ailments in recent weeks, and he feels that the ongoing transfer embargo which continues to hover over the club is to blame.
With Town unable to draft in new recruits to bolster their depleted squad, Di Canio believes that certain players are taking the opportunity to have a break from his rigorous match preparation by citing muscular problems which are perhaps exaggerated for effect.
The Italian is determined to squash the trend before it becomes common practice amongst his squad.
He said: “From today, especially under the embargo regime, if a player counts himself out and decides to make the analysis himself, he will be out for a minimum of 10 days.
“At the beginning maybe I let him make the analysis himself. ‘Today I can’t, tomorrow I’ll see, after tomorrow maybe yes’.
“Paul Godfrey, Claudio (Donatelli) and Paolo Di Canio decide what you have. You can’t be a doctor. Here there is not enough knowledge to analyse yourself.
“This is thanks to the embargo. I’m tough but I have to repeat, this is thanks to the embargo. The people don’t understand what it means.
“This is the product of the embargo.
“Unfortunately it’s human because in the last three weeks it didn’t just happen once. It’s not because they are unprofessional.
“In an environment where you want the discipline, you have to bring the rules. It helps more when there is pressure from every situation. Even if they have massive respect for me, your power is to judge and to change.
“Two in, two out, I can have options - that is the best pressure for modern football for the modern era and the new generation.
“This is the third or fourth time it has happened in the last three weeks. It has never happened in the last 16 months.
“From now I probably have to have a different approach to my players in this specific situation. There is probably more appetite for Tuesday night in general.
“This is the fourth time that it wasn’t clear.
“In general, even very hard stiffness can cause you a problem to keep going and maybe you need three or four days off because you are at risk of pulling a muscle.
“Sometimes the fibres are very close to the limit of their elasticity and they inflame for some reason.
“This is a very crucial moment of the season and I have to stop it straight away like I did last season. One time I had a meeting, I was hard and I took the chance to remind the people that we are in a wrong way if we go in this direction.
“The situation that I have can cause all these problems. The damage was done in some way.
“You have to handle the pain and the stiffness. The other situation will happen a lot more in the future.”
Di Canio’s musings were cued by revelations that captain Alan McCormack will miss the weekend clash with Macclesfield with a hamstring complaint.
The injury, which is in the opposite leg to the knock which kept McCormack out of the games against Bury and Coventry last month, came out of nowhere according to the Swindon manager.
“McCormack this morning arrived at the ground feeling a bit sore in his hamstring. He’s probably out. Yesterday he didn’t feel anything, he just felt tight like is normal after a hard game in both.,” he said.
“He had the warm down, he ran around the field and then he left and din’t say anything except he was alright.
“Last night he started feeling stiffness in one leg, in one hamstring. This morning he came and ruled himself out of training.
“Yesterday after three runs he was getting better. When you have damage you can’t get better. It means it was only stiffness. But I want to go through and check.”
Di Canio will also be without Alan Navarro, Federico Bessone and John Bostock through injury.