Former Villans striker speaks to safc.com.
Former Aston Villa man Dion Dublin believes that his former side will face a tough test against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland on Monday.
Villa boss Paul Lambert has described the clash at Villa Park as a ‘must-win’ for his team and Dublin believes passion and desire will be key.
In Paolo Di Canio Sunderland have a manager who puts a smile on the players' faces and gives them belief, so it will be tough for Villa
- Dion Dublin
“I think tactics and quality go out of the window to an extent, it’s about the players that want it and are prepared to sweat blood and tears in the battle,” he said.
“In Paolo [Di Canio] Sunderland have a manager who puts a smile on the player’s faces and gives them belief, so it will be tough for Villa.”
The former England international played over 150 league games for the Villans, scoring 48 goals, before moving to Leicester City in 2004.
And the prolific striker says Villa’s attacking prowess could see them secure their Barclays Premier League status for next season.
“I think Villa’s strength is the pace in which they can attack you, with the likes of [Andreas] Weimann, [Christian] Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
“If they are all up for the battle will be dangerous.
“The players need to produce the goods now; I experienced it [a relegation battle] with Coventry City and we had a hard-working group who stayed up because we were up for the battle.”
The Black Cats have won two of their last three games since the arrival of Di Canio and, Benin international Stephane Sessegnon has improved in particularly – scoring in both wins over Newcastle United and Everton.
And Dublin believes the former PSG man is the player Villa have to be most wary of.
“I suppose the most obvious player is Sessegnon,” he added. “What he has is that quality to produce something special.
“It’s those moments of magic that his team-mates and his manager will appreciate.”