PAOLO DI CANIO hopes Sunderland’s current crop can take inspiration from the reception granted to the club’s most fabled side.
Several of the heroes from the 1973 FA Cup winning team will be paraded before the Stadium of Light crowd prior to Monday night’s crunch relegation encounter with Stoke City, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Wembley triumph.
Despite being Sunderland head coach for just a month, Di Canio is well aware of the history behind 73 and hopes to eventually make his own mark in Black Cats folklore.
But the immediate pressing concern for Di Canio is Premier League survival and he hopes the warm reception granted to the legends of the past will spill over into the crucial clash against the Potters.
“On Monday night, we will receive all the heroes from 1973 and the same positive energy can remain in the stadium for the players,” said Di Canio.
“I always follow the traditions of English football and I’ve discovered what happened against Leeds in 1973.
“That was a fantastic moment and when you remember it, you feel the atmosphere around the club.
“You hope one day you can be part of this and I hope this moment can be shared by the fans to deliver a positive energy.
“It can be an extra motivation for the players because one day they could be remembered for the rest of their lives.
“One day I hope we can fight for something like that.”
Stars of the 1973 side, including Jimmy Montgomery, Dick Malone, Ritchie Pitt, Bobby Kerr, Micky Horswill, Vic Halom, Dennis Tueart and Dave Young will all be in the club shop prior to kick-off, signing 1973 commemorative memorabilia.
The signing session will take place from 4.30pm until 5.30pm.