PAOLO DI CANIO says Emanuele Giaccherini and Cabral have the “intelligence” to adapt to English football after the summer signings impressed in Sunderland’s Barclays Asia Trophy success.
Italian international Giaccherini was a menace on the left flank in the Black Cats’ 3-1 win over Spurs yesterday, while central midfielder Cabral grabbed an impressive equaliser here in Hong Kong.
Di Canio knows the pair will face a far greater test when the Premier League gets underway for real.
Yet the Sunderland head coach has no doubts that the two additions to his midfield will have little trouble acclimatising to English football.
“I thought Giaccherini and Cabral were very good,” said Di Canio.
“They still have to understand English football because yesterday the tempo was slow.
“They will soon find the real tempo of English football.
“But I don’t have a problem because they are both intelligent and want to fight.
“Obviously, the process of understanding takes longer.
“But yesterday their performance was something I expected of them - quality.
“Forget the goal of Cabral, it was the way he got in the position and pressed the ball.
“They both worked in a effective way and I’m very happy.
“But there is a job to do because we are still very far from what I want to be.
“I saw things that made me happy though because they showed things that I wanted to see.
“And then we can adjust many things in the future to complete our identity.”
Di Canio was pleased with the manner of Sunderland’s comeback, as the Black Cats secured a clash with Manchester City in Saturday’s tournament final.
“Whenever you win, it’s good, but the way the victory came was even more important.
“We’ve rebuilt the team so this kind of game can help us to understand that if we keep working hard, we are going to improve a lot.
“Then we are going to have a lot of satisfaction during the season.
“After we went 1-0 down, it was a very good effort, not only the starting XI, but the other players who got a few minutes in the second half.
“I’m very happy. We’ve not done anything yet, but we’ll wait for the final.”