Sunderland will be bigger than you, Paolo Di Canio warns Newcastle

Manager taunts rivals ahead of derby and hits out at predecessors' spending

On the eve of the Tyne-Wear derby, Paolo Di Canio has warned Newcastle United supporters that he will make Sunderland the North-east’s biggest club after criticising previous managers at the Stadium of Light for wasteful spending.

Di Canio takes his new team to St James’ Park tomorrow for one of the most important games to take place between the two sides. Defeat for Sunderland would move them closer to relegation from the Premier League while defeat for Newcastle would drag them back into the survival battle.

But the new Sunderland manager predicts that if his club manage to stay in the top flight this season, they will overtake their rivals over the next two years.

When specifically asked if Sunderland could become bigger than Newcastle, Di Canio said: “Not now, but in the future? Yes. Absolutely, yes. The plan is amazing. First we have to make sure we stay up, that will be okay. If we do, it will not happen in a week or a month, it will be one or two seasons.”

He then hit out his predecessors’ transfer spending and failure to maximise the club’s enormous potential. “Newcastle is a massive club, but Sunderland is a massive club,” he said. “The problem is that this massive club has not been used in the right way. There are  40-50,000 followers every game. The facilities are amazing, and this club has spent money to build the team too.

“It has not only spent £1 million on players. No, this club has spent big money and it is not acceptable for the club to have been where it is for the last two years.

“If we stay up this year, it will be close no matter what happens and that is not acceptable. But with the right organisation and plan and policy, if we stay up, these things will change to give us a chance.

“It is very famous the way people follow their club. Sunderland fans are amazing. They are known everywhere. That has made me and my staff feel even more responsibility. The luck for this club is that this manager has inner motivation. That comes from my nature, from my dadda and my momma. They are still my inspiration. That is vital – I live in their name. Everything I do will be with maximum desire. If it doesn’t work, ‘Di Canio is a donkey - bye bye’. But I’m sure that Di Canio is a stallion, and I will deliver the right job for my players in the future.”

The Italian will come face to face with Alan Pardew for the first time, with the Newcastle manager admitting that he expects Di Canio to be successful.

“I expect him to be a success,” Pardew said. “I hope he is a success at Sunderland because I know how important football is to the communities of both cities – 100 per cent I want them to stay up. But we are not far apart and will not be far apart at all if they win on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Hatem Ben Arfa, who returned to action against Benfica on Thursday following a hamstring injury and is due to play tomorrow, has scotched reports he will leave Newcastle. “I want to stay here,” the winger said yesterday. “Me and my agent have not talked about [leaving]. I am focused on Newcastle and 100 per cent Newcastle. I hope to stay here.”

However, the forward was not as charitable as Pardew about Sunderland’s plight. “We want to win the game and it doesn’t really matter what happens to Sunderland after that,” he said. “If they end up going down, it is not our problem. That won’t be part of our thinking”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried