PAOLO Di Canio says he regrets the fact that Sunderland’s defeat to Fulham gave his critics fresh ammunition.
But he has vowed to make them eat their words – starting with tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Southampton – and is looking forward to incubating an exciting and successful Sunderland side over the course of time.
The Sunderland head coach admits he’s still scratching his head at the way the Black Cats dominated the Cottagers over the course of last Saturday’s game, only to come up empty-handed.
“It was disappointing for me because it gives my critics more fire and, at the end of the day, if you lose you are going to get criticism,” shrugged the Italian.
“I’m not worried though – it is clear to me that we will be better than many sides in this league this year.
“And it is clear to me that, although we have support from the local media, that is not necessarily the case in other places.
“That can be for many reasons – and I don’t want to sound like the guy who is always upset – but it is clear to me.
“I enjoy this though, because this is my life – I don’t mind having people against me because it is very satisfying when you win at the end and prove them wrong.
“I don’t want to think too much though about upsetting my critics, I want to think more in terms of making our fans happy.
“So people shouldn’t get too upset that we’ve lost one game.
“What is important is that you don’t give up. Don’t listen to the ones who keep putting the club down – they are like crows.
“I’m joking about it, but it is an important point, everyone has to stay positive because we are going to have a very good season – I’m sure about that.”
Di Canio revealed that although Sunderland’s squad and playing staff were hurt by the nature of last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat, they very quickly bounced back as a group.
And that has given him fresh encouragement.
“It was tough to take, but on Saturday, on Sunday, on Monday there was a good energy about the place,” he said.
“We wanted to work on it.
“We thought: ‘Yes, we have to be intelligent, we have to be sensible’ – we lost the game, yes, but the players were enthusiastic about the way we played.
“They are intelligent, they are good and they like the way we play. That’s obvious.
“And I also see that the young people around the place are very optimistic.
“It’s rare to dominate in the manner that we did, yet lose so easily.
“It can happen, but not often.
“It just means you go back and you look at things, you change something or other – but not necessarily that much - and you improve.”