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Di Canio attacks former club Sunderland and says he will manage West Ham

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By James McLean

Saturday 25 January 2014

Former Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has branded the Black Cats a “weak club”, and called the players who rebelled against him “cowards”, according to Sky Sports.

Paolo Di Canio

The Italian was appointed as successor to Martin O’Neill at the north east club in March, but was sacked in September after only 12 games in charge. The club won only two of those twelve games, but a player revolt is believed to have been the catalyst for his dismissal.

Di Canio has admitted that his reputation has been tarnished since his tumultuous reign on Wearside came to an end, but believes he was made a scapegoat for the things that went wrong at the club during that period – from the number of summer signings to the results on the pitch.

He said: “It depends what the club wants, if the club is weak then they believe in the players, if they are strong they believe more in the manager. That is not something that can only happen at Sunderland, it can happen anywhere.

“To be honest, I have never been part of a group of players that went to the chairman because that is for cowards, I do not like that, it’s not fair. I prefer confrontation with my manager.

“It does not hurt me, it was four or five or six [players], but I do not like people who do not look into your eyes when they speak to you.

“I really believe in work, work, work so my standards are very high for those people without ambition. People with ambition want Paolo Di Canio.

“More than a few things went wrong, I was working with 14 new players, all new together and all from abroad," he added.

When he was quizzed about why the players were at the club if he hadn’t wanted to sign them, Di Canio said: "We should ask the director who has now been sacked, [Roberto] De Fanti why all the targets I mentioned to them and we had all the chances to bring, why they didn’t come.”

The former Italy international also explained his belief that he will one day manage former club West Ham.

He said on the subject: “Everybody knows this [it would be special to go back there] but I don’t want to say this now because it is not fair. All I can say is, one day before the end, whether they go up or down and what players they give to me, it will happen, it’s obvious. That is my destiny.”

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