Paulo Di Canio

New boss lays down challenge

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Di Canio sets early targets.

Paolo Di Canio is looking for an immediate positive reaction from his players as he plots the club’s path through the final seven games of the season.

The Italian has signed a two and a half year deal on Wearside and will kick off his reign with a trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

Di Canio, who has been handed on the title of head coach, has already put his squad through their paces and is hoping his players can hit the ground running.

It is a crucial cause, not just for Paolo Di Canio and the staff but more importantly for the thousands and thousands of people who care about this club

- Paolo Di Canio

“I think that when there is a change there is a shock in some way,” he said. “It happened to me in the past when I used to play football two thousand years ago.

“Obviously you start thinking about a new manager and want to understand his philosophy, you want to understand, especially the players who haven’t been involved in the last few weeks, if you have a new chance.

“If players play regularly, they want to keep going and save their place. That should be normal and it’s natural. I hope that can be an extra motivation.”

Di Canio acknowledges that he and his staff have a central role to play in delivering “the right things” to the players, but says he expects “maximum availability” from his charges.

 “At the moment, to be honest, after watching some games in the last few weeks, apart from some individuals I didn’t see that real fire,” he explained.

“I’m sure there is fire in this team because they are a good group of lads with a good mix of adult and young players.

“If they have the right motivation they can beat any side in this league, which they have done in the past.

“At this moment they are in difficulty, so it means I expect from my players the maximum availability and desire to do the right job together.”

And he says rapid forward steps are essential. “We don’t have a long period in front of us,” he added.

“We only have seven games so we have to be quick to understand each other and if necessary make sacrifices for the cause.

“It is a crucial cause, not just for Paolo Di Canio and the staff but more importantly for the thousands and thousands of people who care about this club.”