The 44-year-old Italian completed the first phase of his mission on Wearside last night while sitting in his armchair as Wigan's defeat at Arsenal guaranteed the Black Cats their place in next season's Barclays Premier League.
However, if the players he inherited from Martin O'Neill expected a pat on the back as they prepared for Sunday's final day trip to Tottenham, they were soon disabused of the notion.
Di Canio said: "I told them we can win, draw or lose with dignity, respecting the club's name and the fans who follow them. But if not, I will reduce their holiday.
"I will give them the minimum I can give to them, which is four weeks, 28 days instead of probably 38, 40 or 41.
"It depends because in some way we have to start to change the mentality. Just because I fell in a trap against Aston Villa, I don't want to fall in a trap again.
"I am sure that four or five individuals don't need this kind of situation, but many others have to realise we need to change mentality or we have to use punishments in some way.
"It's not fair, but until the day I am sure that my players can go on the field and in some ways I can remain at home, I have to use anything I can to help change their mentality."
- Sports & Recreation
- Di Canio