Sunday 26 January 2020

Di Canio vows to bounce back

Paolo Di Canio insisted he will 'take something positive' from his tumultuous 13-game spell in charge
Paolo Di Canio insisted he will 'take something positive' from his tumultuous 13-game spell in charge

Paolo Di Canio has vowed to learn from his experience at Sunderland and return to English football as a better manager.

The Italian has ended his silence since his sacking at the Stadium of Light by insisting he will "take something positive" from his tumultuous 13-game spell in charge.

And he dismissed reports that a training ground bust-up were responsible for his dismissal, claiming players sent messages of support in the wake of his exit.

In a statement issued to the Press Association, Di Canio said: "I remain confident in my ability and I want to manage again in England as soon as I can.

"When things like this happen it is important to take something positive from it. I have learnt a lot from my brief time at Sunderland and I am sure that this will only make me a better manager in my next job.

"Even though my time at the club ended prematurely, I would like to thank Sunderland for giving me my first opportunity to be a Premier League manager."

Di Canio was axed after the Black Cats' 3-0 defeat at West Brom, having reportedly alienated some senior players by singling them out for criticism.

But Di Canio described reports that a delegation of senior players had demanded his exit as "wholly untrue".

Di Canio added: "There was no training ground bust-up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them improve as footballers."

Di Canio replaced Martin O'Neill at the end of March and was credited with saving the club from relegation after inspiring a famous 3-0 win at north east rivals Newcastle in only his second match in charge.

But despite bringing in 14 new players over the summer, things quickly turned sour with an opening day home defeat to Fulham kicking off a run which yielded a single point from their first five games.

Di Canio added: "When you bring in 14 new players, many from overseas and very few with Premiership experience it is going to take time for them to adapt to the English game and to gel as a team.

"As I have said many times, I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short as given the chance, I am certain that had I been allowed longer, I would have been able to develop the team to achieve the success Sunderland fans desire.

"We could see that results had not gone as well as any of us had hoped, but I felt as a team we could turn things around."

PA Media

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