Boss expecting tough encounter

PDC: "We are going to go there looking for a win."

Paolo Di Canio says Sunderland will face a tough away test on the south coast this weekend but is confident in his side’s abilities.

The Black Cats head to St Mary’s on Saturday to face a Southampton team who have been busy in the transfer market this summer.

“You only have to mention that they already had a good base of players who have played together for a few years,” Di Canio said ahead of the game.

“[Mauricio] Pochettino delivered straight away the philosophy and identity he wanted to see. He has maintained the base and over the last few weeks have spent around £35-36m on players.

“Southampton, in my opinion, are a side who can finish in the top 10. They have talented players and substitutes who can give extra quality during games.

“They will be a tough team to face. They deserved the win at West Brom away from home [last week].

“It will be tough but we are going to go there looking for a win because we are a good side and know we can beat any side.”

Meanwhile Di Canio is hoping his side will continue to gel and make progress after they dominated last week’s season opener against Fulham only to slip to a 1-0 defeat.

“What I saw in the game made me very happy,” he said. “We dominated the game completely.

“We didn’t win so that means we have to adjust something and improve. We will do it, but obviously the impression is more than positive.”

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