Di Canio denies bust-up

Former Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio has released a statement denying reports of a training ground "bust-up" and saying his time at the club was "unfairly cut short".

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Di Canio issues statement

Paolo Di Canio Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has released a statement in relation to his time at the club.

The statement says: "Further to my contract being terminated with Sunderland AFC I wanted to issue this brief statement.

"When I joined the club last season with the aim of saving them from relegation I was happy to be offered the opportunity to manage in the Premier League.

"I walked into a challenging situation but achieved what I was asked to do, the highlight of which was the fantastic performance and win against Newcastle, which is something I will always remember.

"When you being in 14 new players, many from overseas and very few with Premiership experience it is going to take time from them to adapt to the English game and to gel as a team.

"As I have said many times, I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short as given the chance, I am certain that had I been allowed longer, I would have been able to develop the team to achieve the success Sunderland fans desire.

"There has been a lot written in the media in recent days, much of it wholly untrue.

"There was no training ground bust up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them to improve as footballers.

"We could see that results had not gone as well as any of us had hoped, but I felt as a team we could turn things around.

"I remain confident in my ability and I want to manage again in England as soon as I can. When things like this happen it is important to take something positive from it. I have learnt a lot from my brief time at Sunderland and I am sure that this will only make me a better manager in my next job.

"Even though my time at the club ended prematurely, I would like to thank Sunderland for giving me my first opportunity to be a Premier League manager."

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Ball keen to replace Di Canio full time

Kevin Ball has asked to be considered as a candidate to replace Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland manager.

"Anybody who is anybody would like to be considered for it. In the sense of what I have done as a coach or a player and not only that, my qualifications I have gone out and got as a coach, I would like to be considered.

But ultimately, that's the club's decision and I would go with that, whether it was me or someone else, they would have my full support."

– CARETAKER SUNDERLAND MANAGER KEVIN BALL

Quinn demands charisma in Sunderland new man

Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has urged owner Ellis Short not to appoint a journeyman manager as Paolo Di Canio's replacement.

The Texan is currently assessing his options - former Brighton boss Gus Poyet has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite - after showing the 45-year-old Italian the door on Sunday evening with the dressing room in disarray.

"Sunderland need someone to galvanise the dressing room.

They need someone for the senior players to really buy into and show the younger players how it's done. They need someone charismatic to do that, someone who gives them a lift.

They don't need someone who is going to go out and say, 'I'm in a hopeless situation here, these players are no good'. Sometimes managers try and buy themselves a bit of time by saying they have got a really tough job.

They need...someone who's going to roll their sleeves up, be charismatic and say, 'We're still fighting'."

– FORMER SUNDERLAND CHAIRMAN NIALL QUINN SPEAKING TO TALKSPORT

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Pasta la Vista - Di Canio may be off the menu

Mamma Italia specials
"Fiery" Di Canio pasta may be wiped from menu Credit: ITV News

Owners of the Mamma Italia restaurant in Sunderland say their special Di Canio pasta may soon be wiped from the menu.

They created the fiery Tagliatelle Paulo Di Canio in honour of the Sunderland manager. But now that he's been sacked the pasta may have to go.

One the the possible replacements is a Pollo Di Matteo...

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