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Saturday, 13 September 2014, 15:00

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Di Canio demands more goals

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has challenged his midfield to score the goals to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League.

Last Updated: 16/04/13 at 15:32 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: His Sunderland side won 3-0 at Newcastle

Paolo Di Canio: His Sunderland side won 3-0 at Newcastle

Sunderland have struggled for goals for much of the season and are without top-scorer Steven Fletcher for the rest of the campaign because of injury.

Eleven-goal striker Fletcher's season was ended before the Italian succeeded Martin O'Neill at the Stadium of Light and January recruit Danny Graham has yet to score for his new club.

But the Italian believes the likes of Adam Johnson, James McClean and Sebastian Larsson can contribute more in the attacking third.

"It will help to create more chances," said Di Canio, whose side are three points above the relegation zone after their 3-0 win over Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby.

"People like Johnson, who in the past used to run 70 yards with the ball and then arrive at the edge of the box and be empty in the legs without the chance to strike - maybe now there will be a chance that sometimes he can get the ball near the box and use his talent and maybe strike on goal.

"It's exactly the same on the other side with James (McClean) or Sebastian (Larsson).

"From the middle, one midfield player always has to attack the edge of the box so with a rebound, we are not 60 yards or 40 yards from the goal, we are close.

"The mechanism and the system will help this team to cancel out the fact that we don't have a top scorer who can turn the game on his own.

"In any instance near the box, we are going to find a way to score, I am sure.

"The fitness has grown a bit and the belief is higher that we are going to score enough goals to stay up."

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