Ex-Sunderland director of football De Fanti hits back at Di Canio claims

Paolo Di Canio
Paolo Di Canio
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ROBERTO De Fanti has hit back at Paolo Di Canio - insisting the Italian should have been sacked as Sunderland boss after keeping the Black Cats in the Premier League.

Di Canio claimed in a television interview yesterday that ex-director of football De Fanti, along with former chief scout Valentin Angeloni were to blame for the brevity of his six-month Sunderland reign.

The former West Ham frontman - sacked as Sunderland boss 13 months ago - said De Fanti and Angeloni concentrated on bringing in players from the Continent, when he wanted to make British signings.

But De Fanti - who lasted only four months longer than Di Canio before he was dismissed at the Stadium of Light - insists the former head coach had a say in every player brought to the club during his stewardship.

De Fanti says the biggest mistake made was Sunderland’s failure to relieve Di Canio of his duties after keeping the club in the top flight at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

“Paolo had the final decision on every player,” De Fanti told the BBC.

“He always blames everybody else but himself.

“The biggest mistake of the club’s board was not to listen to me and Valentino’s suggestion not to confirm Paolo at the beginning of last season.

“Paolo was fundamental in saving the team from relegation, but not the right manager to lead what would have been a new group.

“Cracks inside the locker room were evident already then.

“Luckily, our suggestion to take Gus (Poyet) was not unheard and he was able to achieve results with exactly the same team as the beginning of the season.

“He will also save the club also this year, if he is allowed to work properly.”