Zola plays down Sunderland link

Gianfranco Zola says he is flattered to be among the bookmakers' favourites to succeed Paolo di Canio at Sunderland.

Last Updated: 24/09/13 at 10:43 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Inter Milan sign Joao Miranda from Atletico Madrid

Post comment

Inter Milan have signed Brazilian defender Joao Miranda from Atletico Madrid.

Ipswich Town have signed Arsenal winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan for the season

Post comment

Ipswich have signed winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal.

All Articles

Gianfranco Zola: Flattered to be linked

Gianfranco Zola: Flattered to be linked

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola's says he is flattered to be named among the bookmakers' favourites to succeed Paolo di Canio as Sunderland manager.

Di Canio was sacked on Sunday following a poor start to the season that saw the club take only one point from five Premier League games - and only hours after a training ground inquest into Saturday's 3-0 defeat at West Brom.

Kevin Ball has been appointed caretaker manager but Zola has been linked along with former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo, Gus Poyet, Tony Pulis and Alex McLeish.

Zola is happy to be mentioned as a contender, but he is also focused on his job at Watford.

The Italian told Sky Sports News: "Of course I am flattered that I have been considered but I am really happy over here and like what I am doing.

"I think my growth as a manager has been massive and so I want to fulfil this task that I will be here."

Di Canio was axed after some senior Sunderland players complained to the club about him, Sky sources understand.

In the fallout from that meeting, some of the club's senior men went above Di Canio's head to express their concerns about his management style.

In his six months on Wearside Di Canio increased the workload in training and was at times publicly critical of his players but - this season, at least - his methods have not paid off.

Ball - a player on Wearside for almost all of the 1990s - will reprise a role he previously held for 10 games following Mick McCarthy's 2006 departure.

He said: "The situation last time was slightly different to this time, but it did give you an experience, whether it be for one or 10 games.

"I enjoyed it last time and I hope I feel the same way about this one as well. It allows you to say, 'Well, I have done it before, it's not something that's unexpected'.

"I have coached for 10 years, so within that, you do so many things that a manager would do anyhow, it's not a fantastically, unbelievable step."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Guardiola will let Schweini decide future

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has told Manchester United target Bastian Schweinsteiger he can make up his own mind on his future.

Dean Hammond signs new deal with Leicester City

Leicester midfielder Dean Hammond has signed a new contract with the club after his previous deal expired.

Giggs urges youngsters to impress

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has urged the club's youngsters to seize their chance to impress boss Louis van Gaal.

Mail Box

Nani's Failure Still Leaves A Sour Taste

It's a decent afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Paulinho, Nani, the future of women's football and yet more of your annoyances. These will be the last of them...

Media Must Maintain Women's Momentum

England being English was tough luck but the media must build on the increased interest in the women's game. Also, mails on Turan, United aiming too high and BAPs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company