SAFC training

'Everyone can have their chance'

by Stuart Vose

Head coach's message for players.

Paolo Di Canio has challenged every member of his squad to make an impact as Sunderland look to drive up the Barclays Premier League table.

The Italian handed Connor Wickham a first start since January at Chelsea last week and was rewarded with an excellent display by the England U21 international.

In this moment we need also some people who play with instinct, but full of energy...There is a strategy, but now we need energy

- Paolo Di Canio

Matt Kilgallon also turned in an assured display having been recalled by Di Canio, who says the opportunities are there for all ahead of the final six games of the campaign.

“We have a group of young, talented players, [some of whom] have not played a lot of games this year," he said.

“Now they have a chance and can deliver a good job for us.

“I found [some of] them, when I came in, sad in some way. When you’re not involved, often it’s difficult.

“The fact is now we have reset everything. Everyone can have their chance.”

Meanwhile Di Canio has highlighted energy and impetus as a key focus between now and the end of the season.

And he says augmenting his core of experienced players with exuberant youngsters is vital.

“We saw straight away that Connor did a very good job at Chelsea,” he explained.

“It was not his first game at the top level this season but he did well.

“In this moment of the season we need players with experience, a fantastic background and quality like John [O'Shea], Stephane [Sessegnon] and many others.

“But in this moment we need also some people who play with instinct, but full of energy.

“There is a strategy, but now we need energy.

“Young players with a chance are for sure going to give 300% and that is important for me.”