Di Canio: One more victory

Paolo Di Canio challenged Sunderland to secure Premier League safety this weekend after a 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Last Updated: 07/05/13 at 08:54 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: Pleased his side managed to get a point

Paolo Di Canio: Pleased his side managed to get a point

Di Canio's side moved three points clear of the bottom three thanks to John O'Shea's equaliser, the point achieved despite Craig Gardner's first-half red card.

Sunderland are level on points with Norwich and Newcastle and have a better goal difference, and their manager has pinpointed Sunday's "Champions League final" against Southampton as key to their survival hopes.

He said: "The game at home to Southampton is now like a Champions League final. It's crucial for our destiny. We can stay up but we need to win another game."

Gardner was sent off for a challenge on Charlie Adam, leaving Sunderland a man short for the second successive game, but the 10 men's reaction was in stark contrast to last week's capitulation at Aston Villa.

Di Canio told Sky Sports: "I saw the team I wanted to see with shape and character. There was only one side in the second half, but we must stop the yellow and red cards.

"We had to keep the shape and use the wide areas better and move Stoke around.

"Also, with our desire and at home we tried to stay in the game and create chances and in the end the desire and effort helped and the point will be crucial to us."

Gardner will not play again this season and Di Canio said: "Craig is out but we can't focus too much on that and we will try not to make any further mistakes. I do love the passion, though, of the players."

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think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

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e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

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Benteke ignoring speculation

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

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