English Premiership

Sunderland sack Di Canio

2013-09-23 08:47
Paolo di Canio (AFP)

London - Paolo di Canio was sacked as manager of English Premier League basement club Sunderland on Sunday after just seven months in charge of the north-east side.

Sunderland announced they had parted company with the fiery Italian a day after Saturday's 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion left them bottom of the table with just one point from their opening five league games.

"Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo di Canio this evening," a club statement said as the curtain came down on his brief spell at the Stadium of Light which only started on March 31.

The statement added that former Sunderland player Kevin Ball, already on the Black Cats' staff, would be in temporary charge while the club sought a permanent successor to di Canio.

"Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night's Capital One (League) Cup game against Peterborough United and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor," the statement said.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future," the club added as di Canio became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

Sunderland's defeat at the Hawthorns was compounded by the fact West Brom's opening goal was scored by Stephane Sessegnon, a player sold to the Midlands club by di Canio amid some bitterness earlier this month.

Afterwards, di Canio said he would be pushed out if Sunderland kept losing but insisted he didn't expect to be on his way any time soon.

"The team, not intentionally, have not gelled together yet but that is normal," the 45-year-old said.

"It is a natural process and it is difficult.

"We have made many changes, we have 14 new players from many countries.

"It is obvious one day if we keep going lose, lose, lose there will be a natural consequences, not only for Paolo di Canio.

"I don't think they will want to keep Paolo di Canio, they will probably want to change. But I don't think that now," he added.

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