Sunderland’s Di Canio: I’m no dictator + SLIDESHOW

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PAOLO Di Canio says he will not run Sunderland Football Club as a dictatorship.

The Italian is still an unknown commodity as head coach at the Stadium of Light, having arrived with a reputation for discipline and authoritarian management.

First day at work... Sunderland's new manager Paolo Di Canio.

First day at work... Sunderland's new manager Paolo Di Canio.

But he says that as a manager still learning, he is prepared to be adaptable in his approach and insists it is important to welcome and digest feedback from his players.

Already the 44-year-old says he has worked hard to ensure he understands his players and they understand.

“It is obvious that when you arrive at a club you need to sit down and have a chat with them,” he told the Echo.

“We have done that.

“I have had to look at the players, the experienced ones and the young ones, the players who look confident and maybe the players who are not so confident.

“We have done tests.

“We have seen how they feel about what has happened in the last few weeks.

“But this is natural and it is part of our intelligence, to see how they feel, to see how they are and what their habits are on and off the field.”

Di Canio has spoken to stand-in skipper John O’Shea in particular as he looks to grasp how the squad has been functioning and how it can be improved.

“Clearlym with someone like John O’Shea – who is the captain now with Lee Cattermole being out with injury – we have a chat,” added the former Swindon boss.

“I have to listen to his opinion and that of other players.

“It is obvious that, at the end of the day, you have to have your own ideas but it is important to have communication with them.

“Sometimes you can do it in a very quiet way, occasionally you may need a confrontation.

“But what I can tell you, is that they were very helpful and they understood the need to restore belief and confidence in this moment.

“That is good, because it means we have a basis for understanding and can hopefully work together to improve the team.”