Di Canio fined for misconduct

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio has been fined £8,000 by the FA, having accepted a charge of misconduct.

Last Updated: 16/09/13 at 17:58 Post Comment   

Paolo Di Canio was sent to the stand on Saturday

Paolo Di Canio was sent to the stand on Saturday

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has been fined £8,000 by the Football Association having admitted a charge of misconduct.

Di Canio was involved in a lively exchange with referee Martin Atkinson late in the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday and was eventually sent to the stands.

The Italian later said he had invited Atkinson to "complete a perfect job" by sending him off.

His frustrations centred around the decision not to allow a Jozy Altidore's 'goal' that would have tied the match at 2-2.

Instead of playing the advantage Atkinson pulled play back for a free-kick against Bacary Sagna, ignoring the fact that Altidore went on to score.

An FA statement read: "Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has been fined the standard penalty of £8,000 after he admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to his behaviour during his side's game against Arsenal on Saturday 14 September 2013."

Di Canio, although worse off financially, at least avoided a ban from the dugout.

Sunderland, in a brief statement of their own, added: "He (Di Canio) is free to take his place on the touchline when Sunderland visit West Brom this weekend."

Meanwhile, Di Canio is refusing to hit the panic button despite seeing his team slip to the foot of the table.

Saturday's 3-1 home defeat left the Black Cats with just a single point from their opening four games and a daunting fixture list ahead of them.

But as he prepared for next weekend's trip to West Brom and the visits of Liverpool and Manchester United to the Stadium of Light which follow it, Di Canio was remaining positive.

He said: "After 20 games, if you are still at the bottom and you are 10 points, 12 points from the fourth place from the bottom, you can start to think, 'Eighteen games to go, okay, plenty of points, but it's difficult'.

"But now we are all there and we are starting to play good football."

Sunderland did indeed play some good football against the Gunners, but belatedly so.

In truth, the game really should have been over by half-time but Di Canio was nevertheless buoyed by his side's second-half display and is confident things will turn sooner rather than later.

Asked how he intends to maintain the spirits of his players, he said: "We have to be intelligent because many times I have experienced that if you stay at the bottom, some belief can go far from your brain.

"But the fact is that they are intelligent and we are a work in progress and we will be knuckling down and working hard together for the next few weeks.

"We know that we can lose some games, especially now with us - it can happen with Manchester United.

"It's important that we keep going and believing that during the training sessions daily and weekly, we have to work so hard because only in this way can we gel quickly together and we can have a quick togetherness from the kick-off.

"I know it's difficult. I am sure the players many times, especially at this moment, that must be how they are thinking.

"But the half-hour that they played together was a very good half-hour.

"It is not easy to play this football against Arsenal, and we created the chances to complete the comeback because we came back well and we deserved to go on top at that moment.

"In the first half, we can say we deserved to be 2-0 down, probably. It didn't happen, we didn't sink, we didn't lose our belief.

"In the second half, we came out better, we adjusted something on the field and we came out with more motivation. The lads were very good, very good, very good because it's not easy.

"It didn't look like a team that hadn't played together for many years for half an hour, so that has to be our belief, our positive energy."


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