SAFC v Everton

Di Canio looks forward

by Ashley Houghton

Boss focused on finale and making plans for the future.

SAFC head coach Paolo Di Canio says he has high hopes for the future after the Black Cats’ Barclays Premier League status was confirmed on Tuesday.

Wigan Athletic’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal on Tuesday evening ensured the Latics could not catch Di Canio’s side who lead them by four points with one game remaining.

And now the Italian is focussed on ‘starting a new era’ at the Stadium of Light.

“The plan now must be not to arrive at the end of the season with the possibility of going down,” the 44-year-old said.

“In my opinion there is a big chance to build a different future; the potential of this club is amazing.

“We can, with a professional work ethic, be the team that can give more satisfaction in the future.”

Di Canio spoke of his delight at keeping the Wearside club in the top flight after taking the role on in April.

“It was the main thing since I signed the contract so the fact that we keep this club up is a big, big achievement.

“We were in real trouble at the moment I signed the contract, in my opinion, so what we have done is an amazing job.

“I’m happy for the chairman, happy for the environment because they gave me a big chance to show my quality.”

And the head coach will now turn his focus to Sunday’s season finale in the capital against Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham.

Di Canio says it’s important that his side perform to their highest level at White Hart Lane to rectify their performance on their last away outing at Aston Villa.

“I want to be clear with them because it happens that they switch off a little bit like against Aston Villa when we desperately needed the points.

“You can imagine there is a habit in this environment, in the brain, because they done well in the last game - they can have a holiday.

“I am not going to accept that against any side.

“On Sunday we can win, we can draw, we can lose, but if we lose we lose with dignity, we respect our colours and the fans that will follow us.”