Di Canio angry at Sunderland first team friendly defeat

Paolo Di Canio has been left raging at his Sunderland players after their poor start to the Premier League season was compounded by a friendly defeat to the club’s Under-21 side, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Di Canio arranged the behind-closed-doors game for his senior players not on international duty, but watched on as the Black Cats’ kids dispatched their more experienced opposition 3-1. The manager responded by picking apart the team’s performance in detail following the final whistle and instructed the players not to tell anyone the match took place – only for the story to find its way into a national newspaper.

So far this season Sunderland have picked up only one point from their opening three games, drawing away at Southampton and losing on the road at Crystal Palace and at home to Fulham. The Mackems were also given a scare by MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, going two goals down before the hour mark, only to score four times in the final 12 minutes.

Di Canio has also had to deal with Phil Bardsley, the full-back who was cast aside at the end of last season after being pictured lying on the floor of a casino covered in £50 notes. He was further ostracised after appearing to laugh at Sunderland’s opening day defeat to Fulham in a comment on Instagram, while a broken foot suffered when playing for the Under-21 side has made loaning him out problematic, although a move to Ipswich is possible when the injury has healed.

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