Boss ready for top-flight bow.
Paolo Di Canio expects his players to match his own excitement and determination when they travel to Chelsea this weekend.
Sunderland’s new head coach will step into the dugout as a Barclays Premier League boss for the first time when his team step out to face the European champions at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Italian has been a livewire since sweeping into the Stadium of Light and can’t wait to face his first challenge head-on.
Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – what can you say? I can’t wait for it and I expect the same desire and determination from my players to make sure they do a good job
- Paolo Di Canio
“As a manager it is my first time at the top, I mean the very top level,” he said.
“[We are] away from home against Chelsea, where obviously I have good memories and scored when I was a footballer.
“But I’m not a footballer now, I’m a manager and now I hope my players will score there and give us some points.
“It’s fantastic. The players will be motivated on their own; they live to play on the big stage.
“Obviously we are going to give them extra motivation to try to get a very good result.”
He added: “Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – what can you say? I can’t wait for it and I expect the same desire and determination from my players to make sure they do a good job.”
Chelsea sit fourth in the division, two points behind third-placed Spurs with a game in hand.
Di Canio is relishing the spotlight of the big stage and feels excitement coursing through his veins as he looks for an immediate impact.
“To go to Stamford Bridge and make a big impact, we always have to remember that the main protagonists are the players, but with my help and my staff’s help we can go there and get a result,” he explained.
“It’s exciting! We live for it. Life is short and if you have an exciting job, you’re lucky.
“I’m not worried about the big stage. We will do everything straight away to try and get a big result at Chelsea and then in the other games.
“This is a fantastic achievement for me and my staff and it is a consequence of what we have done in the past.”