Sunderland’s Di Canio: All decisions will be mine

Paolo Di Canio meets the media at the Academy of Light after his appointment as new Sunderland manager.
Paolo Di Canio meets the media at the Academy of Light after his appointment as new Sunderland manager.
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PAOLO DI CANIO insists he will have control over Sunderland’s transfers, rather than the Black Cats appointing a director of football.

Di Canio was handed the title of head coach, not manager, after succeeding Martin O’Neill and that has prompted speculation over whether Sunderland would opt for the continental approach of a director of football overseeing transfers, while the Italian concentrated purely on first-team affairs.

But the 44-year-old says there is no hidden meaning behind the moniker and he will be responsible for Sunderland’s incomings and outgoings.

Di Canio, who was titled manager at former club Swindon, told the Echo: “Manager, head coach – it is only a title.

“Maybe the title of head coach suits me better because I spend every minute possible with the players on the training pitch, and I lead them tactically and technically.

“This is the only reason.

“But it is obvious that in the future we will have a strategy to build the team and I am going to be involved (in transfers) because I will want players of the right kind of quality to play my football.”

Transfers are far from Di Canio’s first priority at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland’s survival bid taking precedence over all other factors after the Wearsiders slipped to within a point of the relegation zone last weekend.

But asked directly whether he will be responsible for Sunderland’s transfers activities in the summer, Di Canio replied: “In the future, yes.”

O’Neill had been planning a summer overhaul of Sunderland’s squad, but it is not something which Di Canio has yet considered.

The former West Ham frontman has only contemplated the challenge of avoiding the drop and has not arrived on Wearside with a set of targets he is looking to sign in the close season.

“I did not arrive here with a list of players that I want to bring in because I cannot look that far ahead at this moment,” he added.

“Now my priority is to do the best job with the players I have got and make them play the best they can because we need to get points.

“The future is the future, but we are not in a position to think about the next transfer window.

“That would not be an intelligent thing to do.”