Paolo Di Canio

Di Canio urges focus

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Head coach wants to build on momentum.

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio says a win in Monday’s game with Aston Villa will all but secure the Black Cats’ Barclays Premier League status.

The Italian has overseen two victories in his first three games in charge to give his side a huge boost.

It’s obvious we do have one eye on the future but in this moment I don’t want to lose any sort of energy because I know that football can change quickly

- Paolo Di Canio

However, he says the job is far from complete as his side prepare for their trip to the Midlands.

“If we win this game we will stay up and we will try and win the game, not mathematical but with 40 points you should stay up,” Di Canio said.

“In this moment we prefer to maintain the concentration and the focus and get three points.

“It’s obvious we do have one eye on the future but in this moment I don’t want to lose any sort of energy because I know that football can change quickly.

“As I’ve said my many times my mentality is to keep going and to maintain the same focus because if you want to change the habit or mentality we have to deliver it by the fact, by the example.”

Di Canio went on to say he wants his players to maintain the same intensity and performance levels that have produced two consecutive victories, for the remainder of the campaign.

“To relax under me is difficult because we know what happened last year [at Swindon], we were nearly up, we needed one point from five games and I wasn’t happy with some of my players,” he explained.

“I know from when I was a footballer if you get the result you want you can relax a little bit, but relax a bit is different to going round the city, having a party, obviously we don’t have this risk in here.

“If we have a training session or game, and if we are to stay up, we have to retain the same focus and same concentration because in the future I hope we don’t have to suffer like we did this year.

“We want to build something different, something more important for this club. Every game for us important for us to improve if we want to achieve something.”

The former Swindon boss went on to highlight how pleased he has been with the players’ efforts and the environment currently within the group.

“There is real focus in my players and in my team but we live in an environment where we are not one door or one room together and outside there is nothing," he said.

“There is an environment at work that can persuade or motivate in a positive or negative way, fortunately at the moment I discover that we have genuine people and players that are ready for training sessions.”