Paolo Di Canio says he needs a new central midfielder at Sunderland

GIVE IT TIME ... Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
GIVE IT TIME ... Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
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PAOLO Di Canio chose his words wisely and trod as nimbly in his post-match Press conference as the sort of midfield playmaker he is so desperate to bring to Sunderland.

It was an impressive display - especially given the Italian was speaking in his second language rather his native tongue.

He had to speak diplomatically to avoid offending Cabral and Seb Larsson, who played well in the centre of the park on Saturday and to avoid looking like putting public pressure on Messrs Ellis Short, Roberto De Fanti and Valentin Angeloni.

He succeeded too.

But he still made it abundantly clear that he feels his remodelled side is missing arguably its key component - the player ‘with the keys’, the physically imposing central midfielder who can help his side unlock defences.

Reviewing the disappointing defeat to Fulham, he said: “We have quality and I can see that but I need another player there in central midfield if I can.

“We need a player who is sharp in the legs but also sharp the brain - someone who can see the situation quickly and play the ball well.

“Cabral and Larsson did well but we can improve this area of the field by bringing in a real playmaker with a personality and physical presence.”

Di Canio was at pains to acknowledge Sunderland are far from helpless without such a player.

But long term, he made it clear the Black Cats need to bring in the sort of player he has described before the transfer window closes.

“We can handle it for a few games.

“The two in the middle have done a good job but for the future we need another type of player in the middle.

“It is clear we need another player or two, otherwise it is going to be difficult.

“We need players with experience and quality not some young kid or someone who just comes in to make up the numbers.”