Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio: Don’t worry about rivals

FOCUSED ... Paolo Di Canio.
FOCUSED ... Paolo Di Canio.

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 will be 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, and if they get anything from their games, they will go above Sunderland.

If the Magpies or Villans manage victories, they will reach the magic 40-point mark, which usually guarantees Premier League safety.

Third-from-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 point of Sunderland who could finish the day fourth bottom.

“I know that we will be looking at a different situation at the bottom of the table by the time our game 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.”