Sunderland’s Di Canio pledges: I’ll make Sess even better!

Sessegnon and Graham.
Sessegnon and Graham.
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PAOLO Di Canio praised match-winner Stephane Sessegnon for his contribution against Everton, before insisting the Sunderland striker can do better!

Having told the Echo on Saturday that he feels Adam Johnson’s game could be improved by 50 per cent, Di Canio revealed that he is convinced he can do wonders for Stephane Sessegnon too!

“Stephane Sessegnon has quality,” enthused the new Sunderland head coach after the Benin international’s second goal in two games helped earn the Black Cats back-to-back victories. “He can do anything in terms of how he passes, how he controls,” he continued. “But he can do better.

“He can score, more. He can present more danger.

“I am not criticising him. I am being honest about my player.

“I see ways for him to improve, especially when he receives the ball on the move. When he receives the ball on the move, he can do great things and we are looking at that and helping him get the very best out of himself.”

Sessegnon (pictured) and Johnson are not the only players to vastly improve their displays under Di Canio.

But the Italian is reluctant to take too much credit for himself.

“I don’t know if their energy and confidence comes from me,” he said. “Possibly this is a typical situation where a change can affect things in a positive way.

“Probably they fell away because of the players themselves, rather than Martin O’Neill, but they have changed. I think they have responded to our changes.

“Desire is vital from the players. It is all about passion.

You have to work hard and deliver and they are doing that.”

Now he is hoping to finish the job of guaranteeing Sunderland’s safety, though he is reluctant now to accept his original view that 40 points – one more win for his side now – will be enough.

“It changes,” he said. “Your opinion changes with each week.

“Some would say one more win would be enough, but I don’t know any more – I feel it might be more than 40 points.

“We will see.

“When I signed I couldn’t get too much ahead of myself, because every game is tough.

“But I felt with the quality we had and with my knowledge, we would be fine. I wasn’t worried and I’m still not.

“I couldn’t imagine or expect six points from our first three games, but I don’t think anyone could argue that we haven’t deserved those six points.”