Sunderland’s Di Canio: We’ll secure our own safety

Sunderland's Paolo Di Canio points to himself as he appears to apologise to the fans after the heavy defeat at Aston Villa.
Sunderland's Paolo Di Canio points to himself as he appears to apologise to the fans after the heavy defeat at Aston Villa.
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PAOLO Di Canio says Premier League results this weekend should be irrelevant to a Sunderland side which needs to get itself out of trouble under its own steam.

Sunderland’s next game is not until Monday night, when Stoke City are the visitors to the Stadium of Light.

And by that time, the picture at the foot of the table could look very different to how it looks going into the weekend.

Relegation rivals Newcastle and Aston Villa both play today – Newcastle away at West Ham, Villa at Norwich – and if they get anything from their games, they will go above Sunderland.

If the Magpies of Villans manage victories, they will reach the magic 40 point mark, which is usually the number of points which guarantees Premier League safety.

Third-bottom Wigan, who have a game in hand on the teams above them, have a difficult game at West Brom, but victory there would take them to within two points of Sunderland, who could finish the day fourth bottom.

Norwich and Southampton – who are at Tottenham – will have the chance to make themselves virtually mathematically safe if they can manage wins.

But Di Canio says Sunderland cannot expect to rely on results elsewhere and must concentrate on their own games as they close in on the end to the 2012-13 season.

“I know that we will be looking at a different situation at the bottom of the table by the time our games comes around,” he acknowledged.

“Other teams will have played games before us over the weekend and that will obviously alter things one way or another.

“It might be that we are safer after the weekend’s games, or it might be that we are in more trouble. But in a way, that doesn’t really concern me.

“Regardless, we have to win our game against Stoke on Monday, no matter what happens with Newcastle or Villa or Wigan.

“We need to make sure that we are putting points on the board ourselves that’s the only thing that concerns me.

“I was happy when we were getting points against Newcastle and Everton and improving our position.

“I was not happy at Villa. I want to be happy after the Stoke game because it is crucial that we start putting points on the board again.

“Of course, other games will have a bearing on how many points are required for safety. But all we need to do is focus on our games.

“We have to get these points for ourselves rather than rely on anyone else.”