PAOLO Di Canio planned to make his players sit through a video nasty today – the first 75 minutes of last night’s cup game against MK Dons, writes Graeme Anderson.
The Italian head coach intends to lose no time in trying to put right what he saw going so badly wrong as Sunderland’s cup hopes hung by a thread.
“I know that it is easy to play badly,” he said. “It can happen even with the top players in this league and it is hard to say why.
“I was worried.
“But I took something from the ambition and pride we showed in the last 15 minutes.
“I’m happy for the fans and the players, but from my point of view, I thought we defended poorly and gave away a stupid, stupid goal.
“I was very angry for 75 minutes and very happy for 15 minutes – which is not a good balance!
“It is done now, but we have to perform better than that and especially better in the league.
“So this could be a very important game of the season for us because we are going to watch the first 75 minutes the day after because there’s a lot to learn here.
“We have to work harder and learn from our mistakes.
“I’ve made the players know how I feel because this is not a great way to be and we will watch the clips from this game.”
The head coach felt the display summed up the issues that are still very much to the fore on the back of a summer spent rebuilding and he says he has much to work on.
“At the end of the day, we won against League One opposition in front of a fantastic crowd,” he mused.
“That should have been expected, given the level we are at but it was incredibly difficult and it shows that we are still very much a work in progress.
“It showed me that there’s a danger that when things go wrong there’s a danger that people are pointing the finger at everyone else.
“We have to take responsibility, but no-one has to take more responsibility than me.
“There’s no doubt that what we did in coming back was great because it would have been easy to be crippled by anxiety.
“But you can’t celebrate it because you cannot be satisfied with the preceding 75 minutes.
I have been tough on them but I do think they deserve credit for the way they got something out of the game.”