A CULTURE of negativity on the pitch is something Paolo Di Canio plans to change over the next few months at Sunderland.
The Italian has seen enough of the Black Cats’ performances this season to see that a defensive mindset is embedded.
And while he appreciates the importance of getting something out of games, he is convinced only victories will guarantee Sunderland getting away from the Premier League relegation zone.
As a result, he wants his players to be bolder.
“I have seen how defensive Sunderland have been and I do not want to judge anyone because I do not know whether this was the manager’s strategy and advice or because the team was worried and uncertain at the time,” he said diplomatically.
“But I don’t want it to be like that. I want to change it.
“I want to see more courage – more going forward instead of always looking backwards.
“Otherwise, it is difficult to get out of this situation, difficult to get the two or three wins we need.”
In the former Lazio and West Ham striker’s mind, Sunderland will be doomed to failure if they take a safety-first approach to these last seven games.
“I don’t think it is possible to set up defensively and look for seven draws because if you are always defensive you are still likely to concede the one goal.
“It happens if you have got eight and 10 players in your box, because you are not aggressive enough.
“You are playing in a league where you’re always coming up against strikers who can hit a shot from 20 yards into the top corner and then your confidence goes down.
“I want to send a positive message out to the players and the fans.
“We do have attacking players, our wingers are natural attackers so defending is not in my opinion the wisest course of action.”