PAOLO Di Canio has revealed he got an instant response from players shattered by their 6-1 defeat at Villa Park last Monday.
And he says that reaction has given him confidence that Sunderland – now just two points clear of the drop zone following Wigan’s win yesterday – will regain the form they showed against Newcastle and Everton when Stoke come to the Stadium of Light tomorrow
Di Canio warned that, in the aftermath of the defeat at Villa Park, he expected to find out a lot about his players in the days after the disastrous result.
And on the training pitch the next day, his players showed they had not lost their appetite for the fight. “The Aston Villa result was one of the worst moments of my managerial career because it was such a bad defeat,” shrugged Di Canio.
“Obviously there’s nothing we can do about it now – in terms of one game, it was very bad – but now we have to make sure one game doesn’t become two games.
“I have let go of the anger I felt though because, on Tuesday, my players showed me exactly the sort of response in training that I wanted from them.
“They have given me confidence after I analysed the game deeply with them. And they have made me believe that Monday against Stoke will be a different story.
“They showed me commitment and desire and I feel for sure that they won’t repeat the performance.
“They are intelligent and they agreed with me – they were of the same opinion that mentally we didn’t have the right approach.
“That won’t be the case against Stoke on Monday.”
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