Di Canio has no intention of changing approach to Sunderland players

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio will not change his methods of dealing with players he feels are underperforming, Sky Sports has reported, after criticism of the Italian for publically condemning individual mistakes on the pitch.

Black Cats captain John O’Shea was on the receiving end of Di Canio’s barbed comments after giving away a penalty in the defeat to Crystal Palace prior to the international break, leading to suggestions from a number of former players that Di Canio’s style would not yield long-term results. But Di Canio feels his approach has been unfairly analysed to a degree other managers never experience and insists his bond with the squad can withstand the public denunciation.

Harry Redknapp did many interviews last year and no one asked why he said his team was playing rubbish. Why is it only Paolo Di Canio?,” the former West Ham forward said.

Maybe after three or four games a player will moan about the gaffer and say, “Oh, it’s tough”. The common theory is that there are big egos and if you upset them you have problems and they get upset.

But my relationship with my players is closer than you think. It means that I can point the finger straight away and say, ‘For your level, it is rubbish’. You think the new generation is weak? I say if they are weak they cannot play football at this level. It is natural selection.

Di Canio added that he was following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson, who laid out his thinking surrounding management in a Harvard University publication. “Here. Sir Alex Ferguson. Point No.4. Never, ever cede control. This is Paolo Di Canio. This is why I’m at top level,” he said.

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