Head coach holds mixed emotions after cup progress.
Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio described his side’s comeback in Tuesday night’s win over MK Dons as ‘special’ as the Black Cats progressed to the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Connor Wickham’s late double, as well as strikes from Jozy Altidore and Adam Johnson, ensured a 4-2 victory over MK Dons at the Stadium of Light.
And the Italian was pleased with the character the hosts showed to pull through after trailing to strikes from Patrick Bamford and Izale McLeod.
“At the end we can be happy for the win,” Di Canio said. “When you come back like we did it’s something special because what we did today doesn’t happen often because four goals in 13 minutes in the style we did was special.
“It’s obvious we made the fans and the club happy, and ourselves in some way, but I have to be strict on this because I did not enjoy for 75 minutes and we have to improve a lot.
“We need to work on many things, it’s obvious in the end that the quality came out and we did something special.
“What we can take from this game is the heart and the pride, the desire and the ambition and that the team didn’t give up and we didn’t sink.
“It’s obvious that a League One side can beat a Premier League side and I have to give credit to my players because they gave everything and showed pride and showed the quality.”
And Di Canio says despite his delight at progressing into the third round of the Capital One Cup he must ensure his players don’t repeat their performance in the opening 70 minutes of Tuesday night’s game.
“If we focus the attention only on the last 15 minutes then we are never going to improve,” he explained. “Everybody has to be happy and celebrate because it was important to win.
“It was a typical and incredible turn in the cup and a special night in some ways but I’m a manager and I have to be careful and remind my players that in the league it’s difficult, if you play for 70 minutes like we did, to get anything from the game.
“We have to make sure that we are going to work on a way that we can improve the 70 minutes.
“I have to convince them that if we are happy then we forget what we did in the first 70 minutes; especially a team that is still a work in process.
“It is my job to keep everybody with their feet on the ground because otherwise it will be difficult.”