Sunderland’s Bardsley in hot water over Instagram text

Phil Bardsley injured  v Bolton Wanderers.
Phil Bardsley injured v Bolton Wanderers.
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OUT-OF-FAVOUR Phil Bardsley’s conduct will come under scrutiny from Paolo Di Canio this week after appearing to mock Sunderland’s opening-day defeat to Fulham.

A comment stemming from Bardsley’s Instagram account sparked a social media storm on Saturday night after the Black Cats’ 1-0 loss to the Cottagers.

Sunderland Under-21 player Scott Harrison posted a picture on the photograph-sharing website after full-time on Saturday, showing the Stadium of Light tunnel, and then wrote the comment “#opening day (heart)”.

But then there was a reply from Bardsley’s Bardoman26 account which read “Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!”.

That will not go unnoticed by head coach Di Canio, who vented his fury towards Bardsley at the end of last season when the full-back was photographed in a casino.

Bardsley has been subsequently frozen out of the first-team picture – training with the U21s during pre-season and not given a squad number by Di Canio.

Sunderland have been desperately trying to remove Bardsley from the wage bill, with another year left to run on his contract. But their hopes of selling the 28-year-old before the September 2 transfer deadline were dealt a major blow last week when the defender sustained a broken foot playing for the U21s.