Paolo di Canio was out to destroy me, claims Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley
Bardsley is much happier under Gus Poyet
The Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has spoken for the first time about being banished from the club by former manager Paolo Di Canio and has claimed that the Italian tried to destroy him.
Bardsley was photographed lying down in a North-east casino surrounded by £50 notes last season and was immediately fined by Di Canio, who called the picture “disgusting” and told the player he would never be picked again.
The full-back was then suspended indefinitely from the club and the training ground when he sent a tweet after the opening-day defeat against Fulham which read, “Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!”
He was told to find another club but the sacking of Di Canio, orchestrated by players who said they could not work with him any more, has given Bardsley’s Sunderland career a dramatic turnaround.
The former Manchester United defender played in the Premier League derby win against Newcastle United, scored in the Capital One Cup victory over Southampton and then hit the winner against Manchester City in the league on Sunday.
Bardsley, however, has not forgotten the way he was treated by Di Canio. “You’ve got to be tough upstairs or this game will destroy you. A couple of people have tried that but not been successful,” he said.
“Any footballer has to do his talking on the pitch. There were a few situations I was involved in which were difficult for me and my family at the time. I thought at the time my Sunderland career was over but the manager [Gus Poyet] has come in, he’s given me a new lease of life and here we are talking about a 1-0 win over Manchester City. It’s mad.”
Latest in Sport
Norwich 2 Liverpool 3 match report: Liverpool go five points clear of Chelsea at top of Premier League table on day Luis Suarez hits goal number 30
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker shows both his sides after hitting 30 Premier League goals but play acting yet again
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
Liverpool: Three remaining fixtures - can they remain on top of the Premier League table?
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2 match report: Fabio Borini makes Chelsea pay penalty for lack of fight
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war