Paoli Di Canio to change winning Sunderland team at Aston Villa

THE UNLIKELY LADS: Craig Gardner in the crowd at St James's Park with the Sunderland fans
THE UNLIKELY LADS: Craig Gardner in the crowd at St James's Park with the Sunderland fans

PAOLO Di Canio says will not be afraid to change a winning team when Sunderland take on Aston Villa on Monday night.

A nd that policy is likely to spell instant returns for Craig Gardner – returned from suspension; and Phil Bardsley – back from injury.

The Black Cats go into next week’s game at Villa Park buoyant after two wins on the spin - over Newcastle United and Everton – with the only change between those two matches being the inclusion of Jack Colback against the Toffees, in place of the injured Bardsley.

But Di Canio says he does not necessarily believe in a winning formula, just because it worked in a

previous game and revealed he will tailor his team for the opposition facing Sunderland.

Asked if it would be tough for him to change a winning side, he replied: “No, no, no, it is not because I know already the quality of Craig and also of Phil - who is back from injury.

“Phil is ready.

“And it is not difficult for me, not a difficult choice, because I have clear in my brain what I want from my players.

“Already I am 99 per cent certain of the team I want for Monday because this game is crucial and it is important to have energy, experience and quality.

“I don’t mind playing young players if they are ready.

“But to have players like Phil and Craig back and available again makes me happy.”