Di Canio looks for more signings
Published 26/08/2013 | 16:57
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is desperate to prolong his summer spending spree as he targets further signings during the remaining days of the transfer window.
The Italian has already brought 11 new faces into the Stadium of Light since the end of last season, but having seen his new-look side struggle to score goals in their opening two Barclays Premier League fixtures, is hoping the recruitment drive does not end there.
Striker Steven Fletcher is currently working his way back to match fitness after ankle surgery and his return will provide a major boost, but Di Canio is still without a specialist left-back and is keen to add a midfield enforcer to the ranks.
The Black Cats have been heavily linked with Swansea's South Korea international Ki Sung-yeung, and while the manager declined to name names as he prepared for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup second-round clash with MK Dons, he admitted he was keeping his fingers crossed.
Di Canio said: "I don't mention names, but it is obvious that someone has to join us in the next few days.
"We still have six, seven days. I don't want to lose my energy on this because we have a game tomorrow and a game on Saturday.
"The club is working, we know this, and I am waiting for the time that some players join us."
What transfer activity remains to be done on Wearside could depend in part on what happens with Benin international Stephane Sessegnon, whose future has been the topic of persistent speculation this summer with Sunderland understood to be willing to listen to offers for the man they signed from Paris St Germain for £6million in January 2011.
At his best, Sessegnon has lit up the Stadium of Light, but his inconsistency is a growing issue and he has made little impact in the club's opening league games, a 1-0 home defeat by Fulham and a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
However, asked about the 29-year-old, Di Canio said only: "I don't want to talk about him.
"He is part of the squad and the club. He is here so we will see what is going on, but I have nothing to say about him in terms of a transfer."
In the meantime, Di Canio and his players will focus their attention on negotiating a path through a potentially tricky cup tie to progress in a competition the 45-year-old places on a par with the club's Premier League commitments.
He said: "I you want to build a winning mentality, it goes in line with the league. It's very, very important.
"It's obvious that from a company point of view, to maintain the league is crucial.
"To have life, not in terms of the economic situation, but in terms of results, in terms of delivering a winning mentality, we have to take every competition seriously with maximum effort and determination, otherwise we are never going to change the mentality.
"Obviously, you can lose, you can win, you can draw, but we can see if there is desire in facing MK Dons like we have to do against Manchester City.
"If we can change this mentality, we are going to be okay for the future also in the league because a winning habit is very important."
Di Canio was not taking questions over reports police were called to the team hotel the night before the game at Southampton after an alleged altercation with wedding guests having already given his version of events post-match at the St Mary's Stadium.
However, he did explain further his decision, to the surprise of many, to leave former Basle midfielder Cabral out of his team for the fixture on the South Coast.
He said: "He is one player, like many others here. I have good players who have different characteristics on the field. In different games that we play against different opponents, we have different pressure and different ways to play.
"Cabral is a different kind of footballer compared with Craig Gardner, with different characteristics. For this game, I decided to leave him out."