Di Canio named Sunderland boss

Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 11:15 Post Comment   

Di Canio will take charge from Monday after travelling to the North East on Sunday for talks.

The 44-year-old Italian replaces Martin O'Neill who was sacked following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United, which left the club a single point above the relegation zone.

The Italian, who has not managed at Premier League level before, has courted controversy most recently following his acrimonious departure from League One club Swindon in February.

Despite that Sunderland chairman Ellis Short believes the former West Ham forward is the man to steer the Black Cats away from the relegation zone.

"Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him. He is passionate, driven and raring to get started," he said in a statement on the club's official website.

"The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status.

"I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us.

"Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season. They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve.

"That remains our primary aim."

Di Canio's only managerial experience came during a tumultuous 18-month stint at Swindon, which was highlighted by helping the club to promotion back to League One last season.

The Italian also grabbed the headlines for occasional outbursts against some of his players, but despite those moments the club had continued to prosper under his leadership this season.

The Robins were challenging for back-to-back promotions before his sudden departure in February.

Di Canio cited "broken promises" from the Swindon board as the reason for his decision adding also that he had "delivered everything and more that was asked of me".

His first game in charge of Sunderland will come against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next Sunday, followed by a Tyne-Wear derby against fierce rivals Newcastle at St James Park a week later.

The Italian has seven games to save Sunderland from the drop but inherits a team that is without a league win in eight games, taking three points in that time.

Di Canio will be Sunderland's fifth manager in a little more than four years, and the first Short has chosen since Niall Quinn's departure as chairman.

After leaving Swindon he outlined his belief that he was now ready to manage at a higher level, telling BBC Sport: "I believe I am at a stage now where I am a Premier League or Championship manager.

"I have already proven my ability in League Two and League One, where there are many arrogant and average players, and I was able to turn their mentality and help them become better footballers.

"You can imagine if I had the chance to do the same at the top level.

"I proved in League One and Two that I was the best manager, and I now feel ready for the next level."

Di Canio faces the task of galvanising a dispirited squad for a task in which they cannot afford to fail, with the financial implications of the new broadcasting deal meaning relegation is simply not an option.

Sunderland have at times been abject during their recent miserable run and their lack of goals - they have scored just seven and conceded 12 in the past eight games - has been brought into sharper focus by the loss of leading scoring Steven Fletcher through injury for the remainder of the campaign.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Pulis hails Crystal Palace after win over Everton

Tony Pulis hailed his Crystal Palace players after they beat Everton to reach 40 points in the Premier League.

Premier League: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini vows to fight despite Sunderland draw

Manuel Pellegrini admitted the loss to Liverpool was still on Manchester City's minds as they drew with Sunderland.

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid beat arch-rivals Barcelona to win the cup final 2-1

Gareth Bale's brilliant goal five minutes from time gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property