Mannone's Milan connection

by Stuart Vose

Keeper relishing chance to link up with Di Canio.

Vito Mannone is looking forward to working under the direction of Paolo Di Canio having watched his new boss from afar as a child.

The keeper, who joined Sunderland on Wednesday afternoon, grew up in Desio, on the northern outskirts of Milan, and was a big AC Milan fan.

Di Canio spent two seasons with the Rossoneri, joining from Napoli in 1994 before heading to Celtic in 1996.

Mannone vividly recalls Di Canio’s performances in the famous red and black and his passion for the cause.

And he’s expecting more of the same now he is playing for the man he used to watch as a fan.

“I remember [Paolo] playing for Milan; he had a really good career with a few Italian clubs and in the UK as well, of course,” he said.

“He was a great player and you can only learn from great players.

“He did great work at Swindon and a good job here at Sunderland also after he joined.

“Of course, he is a hard worker and that’s what I am too. It’s something good to have in common.”

The keeper added: “I know how we work in our country – we like to work hard.

“Obviously it will be a good challenge and there will be some good work ahead of us.”