Di Canio welcomes message from Newcastle boss Pardew

HANDS ON ROLE: Paolo Di Canio (centre) on the Sunderland training ground.Picture By Frank Reid

HANDS ON ROLE: Paolo Di Canio (centre) on the Sunderland training ground.Picture By Frank Reid

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PAOLO DI CANIO has revealed one of the first well-wishers in his new job at Sunderland was rival boss Alan Pardew - but not in the derby game.

And the Italian said he sent a message of thanks back but also acknowledged there would be no quarter taken or given when the two sides meet this Sunday.

“Alan Pardew sent me a letter already this week, to wish me the best of luck for the future – apart from in the derby, of course!” Di Canio said.

“My answer was very gentle, but the last line about the derby was very similar to his!

“Alan Pardew is a passionate man. I like him, we don’t have to fight.

“We saw him celebrate with the fans when Newcastle scored a late winner in the last game against Fulham at the weekend.

“When I used to do this in League Two at Swindon, people said: ‘he can’t do this; he’s mad’.

“But why can’t I, or Alan Pardew, celebrate a goal?

“As long as you don’t do anything against the other team, it’s fine.”

SEE Thursday’s Mail for full story and more Sunderland news