Sunderland’s Paolo’s in heaven with derby delight

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio.
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio.
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PAOLO Di Canio hailed Sunderland’s victory over Newcastle United yesterday as the biggest of his fledgling managerial career.

And he said he hoped it helped reinforce Sunderland owner Ellis Short’s belief that bringing him in to replace Martin O’Neill as manager two weeks ago was the right way for the Black Cats to go.

Former club chairman Niall Quinn, who was a Sky pundit at St James’s Park yesterday, observed after the game: “The Sunderland board took some stick over the appointment.

“I spoke to a few of them and they said that the idea was to lift it – to bring a bit of sparkle – and boy has he done that!”

Di Canio will be delighted with responses like that as he sets about trying to prove his worth at the highest level.

He said: “I want to make Sunderland people proud after what happened last week.

“I want the owner and the board to know that they have made the best decision in appointing me.

“And I have to say that I think this is the best moment of my managerial career.

“I cannot forget or disrespect Swindon because I had important wins there too – especially in the cup.

“But when you play in the top league and you win one of the hottest derbies in the world, where they fight for the kingdom, it is amazing.

“For me also, it is my first win as a manager in this league, which, in my view, is the best league in the world.

“So to get my first Premier League win, especially in a game like this, it is the best for me.”