Paulo Di Canio set for Sunderland managerial talks

 

Paolo Di Canio is travelling to the north east for talks over the managerial vacancy at Sunderland.

The Italian has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Martin O'Neill, who was sacked in the wake of the Wearsiders' 1-0 defeat to Manchester United yesterday.

It is believed Di Canio will hold talks with Sunderland officials with a view to being formally appointed tomorrow.

Di Canio's immediate objective will be to revitalise a squad for a seven-game run-in which will determine where the Black Cats will play their football next season.

They are currently just a point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone after a run of eight games without a win.

It appears club owner Ellis Short is determined to make an appointment sooner rather than later ahead of a difficult run of games which takes the Black Cats to Chelsea next weekend ahead of a derby trip to Newcastle and the visit of Everton, whose 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final replay victory on Wearside last season had such devastating consequences for O'Neill's reign.

The new man will be Sunderland's fifth manager in a little more than four years, and the first the American will have chosen since Niall Quinn's departure as chairman.

Di Canio's appointment would undoubtedly represent a gamble for Sunderland given his volatile nature.

The 44-year-old resigned from his post at Swindon in February, citing a number of off-field events including the sale of star man Matt Ritchie.

Di Canio joined the Robins in May 2011 and departed with the club top of the Ligue 1 table having overseen their promotion from League Two.

After leaving Swindon he outlined his belief that he was now ready to manage at a higher level, telling BBC Sport: "I believe I am at a stage now where I am a Premier League or Championship manager.

"I have already proven my ability in League Two and League One, where there are many arrogant and average players, and I was able to turn their mentality and help them become better footballers.

"You can imagine if I had the chance to do the same at the top level.

"I proved in League One and Two that I was the best manager, and I now feel ready for the next level."

If he does land the job, Di Canio faces the task of galvanising a dispirited squad for a task in which they cannot afford to fail, with the financial implications of the new broadcasting deal meaning relegation is simply not an option.

Sunderland have at times been abject during a run which has seen them collect just three points from the last 24 on offer, and their lack of goals - they have scored just seven and conceded 12 in the process - has been brought into sharper focus by the loss of leading scoring Steven Fletcher through injury for the remainder of the campaign.

Skipper John O'Shea acknowledges that is a situation which cannot be allowed to continue if they are to escape the drop, and he insists January signing Danny Graham cannot bear that burden alone.

He said: "Look, it's so blatantly in front of us. Everyone just has to take responsibility, whether it's scoring from set-pieces, midfielders having shots, scoring goals.

"From last season, it's been a poor return from everyone in that sense, and that's something we will have to work on.

"You need that bit of quality to score goals and create chances, and that's something we are going to have to keep working on and keep believing that we can do it.

"It's going to have to happen at some point because obviously we are missing Fletch, who has been fantastic for us.

"It was hard for Danny in that lone role up top working his socks off. We need to get more support for him and better quality."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat