Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Baggies clash not as important as relegation scrap - Di Canio
PAOLO DI CANIO believes that Sunderland's bottom-of-the-table encounter at West Bromwich Albion is not his most important game in his tenure as manager – declaring that he would have been 'burned' had he not succeeded in rescuing the club from relegation last season.
Di Canio took over from Martin O'Neill in April with seven games left of the season, and managed two wins and two draws to keep Sunderland from the drop.
Points, however, have been harder to come by for the Italian this season and, with just one point on the board four games into the Premier League season, Sunderland find themselves at the foot of the table.
In West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland meet a team with almost as bad a record as theirs, and an away victory could propel Di Canio's side out of the drop zone ahead of a tricky spell of fixtures which see the Black Cats face Liverpool, Manchester United and arch-rivals Newcastle United.
But Di Canio feels the situation he found the club in Spring was a lot worse than it is today.
“It was more crucial last year,” said Di Canio, who is set to include Lee Cattermole in his matchday squad for the first time since taking the reins.
“It was more tough. Seven games to go, without the chance to have the players I wanted, without a striker, without a midfielder, and with the chance that I could burn my career.
“I was sure that if I failed in that situation, there was no chance for Paolo Di Canio. That was a tough moment, people probably don’t understand that.
“People forget what had happened for 31 games. But if you go down, you are the man responsible because you took the job. You upset thousands and thousands of people who maybe in 45 days can blame you and kill you. You are burned.
“So how can I feel pressure now? It’s only been five games. It’s obvious I feel more than last week how important this game is. If we win it can be good because we will be out of the bottom three for sure. That will be really good to see the table.
“It will give the players more positive energy. I calculated last year that if we went down we would upset everybody and we were finished. So now I am happy.”
Comments are closed on this article.