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'Unique One' Di Canio vows to kick some bottoms

Paolo Di Canio says he will follow the Jose Mourinho blueprint to achieve success at Sunderland after claiming he can be "the Unique One" at the Stadium of Light.

The Italian, who has less than two years of management at Swindon Town on his CV, says his new players must "sweat blood" for Sunderland as they attempt to avoid relegation from the Premier League over the final seven games of the season.

But with his combustible management style earning comparisons to former Chelsea manager Mourinho, Di Canio admits he can see similarities with the current Real Madrid coach.

"I am the Unique One," Di Canio said. "I am joking, actually I'm not, because we are all different, yet it's obvious that some traits of our characters are similar.

"Many, many people said he (Mourinho) was arrogant. He has a very high belief in himself, but that is all and perhaps I am similar.


"It looks sometimes like I come from Mars because I am different from the others, but I can deliver a good job. I believe in my knowledge and in myself. I am confident I can deliver the best job for this club.

"I always speak what I think, but sometimes I have a strategy. I'm not trying to imitate him (Mourinho), though, because I'm Paolo Di Canio.

"I am only at the beginning of my career and I will do things in my own way. That way, I know I can have success. We can joke about being the Special One, or the Unique One, but one day we will discover that I am either a fantastic, good or normal manager."

Di Canio, whose first game in charge is against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, has clashed with his own players in the past, having kicked one Swindon player's backside after substituting him and rebuking another after he had scored.

And he insists that he will not alter his approach to work with Premier League players at Sunderland.

"Maybe I need to be relaxed or maybe I need to kick some bottoms," Di Canio said.

"What won't change from League Two or League One to here, will be the discipline and dedication.

"That is the way to deliver success. That is not just Paolo Di Canio's opinion. They have to honour the shirt. I have to make sure that when my players leave the field, their shirt is not only wet from sweat but it is also full of blood.

"They have to fight for this cause, that has to be the minimum we have to do because I know what it means to wear the shirt." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent