Di Canio breaks his silence over Sunderland sacking

Paolo Di Canio.
Paolo Di Canio.

SACKED Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has denied that a training ground spat prompted his dismissal from the Stadium of Light.

Di Canio last night broke his silence on his departure from Sunderland, nine days after Ellis Short wielded the axe on the head coach’s six-month reign on Wearside.

The Italian believes he should have given more time at the helm and has rubbished suggestions that a dressing room rebellion prompted his departure.

Sunderland sources have insisted that the players could no longer stomach Di Canio’s disciplinary regime and skipper John O’Shea confirmed to the Echo earlier this week that their concerns were voiced to the Black Cats hierarchy.

But Di Canio has rejected the allegations and claims several players have expressed their gratitude for his training ground work during his 13-game tenure.

“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,” said Di Canio.

“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.

“There has been a lot written in the media in recent days, much of it wholly untrue.

“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 to improve as footballers.

“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.”

Di Canio also stressed his determination to return to front-line management on these shores after successfully helping Sunderland to Premier League survival last season.

“I remain confident in my ability and I want to manage again in England as soon as I can,” he added.

“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.

“When I joined the club last season with the aim of saving them from relegation, I was happy to be offered the opportunity to manage in the Premier League.

“I walked into a challenging situation but achieved what I was asked to do, the highlight of which was the fantastic performance and win against Newcastle, which is something I will always remember.”