Sunderland’s style better for likes of Arsenal

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio and captain John O'Shea
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio and captain John O'Shea

PAOLO Di Canio believes that Sunderland’s style this season could be better suited to playing the Premier League’s top teams, rather than its strugglers.

And for that reason, he’s excited about the visits of a string of leading sides to the Stadium of Light in the next couple of months.

The Black Cats have managed just one point from their opening three games, against Fulham, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

And that has caused many to fear the worst with high-flying Arsenal coming to the Stadium of Light tomorrow, followed by home games against Liverpool, Man United, derby rivals Newcastle United and Manchester City.

But Di Canio says Sunderland should not fear the visit of a side which comes to play football instead of defending for 90 minutes.

“I can’t wait for us to play because I’m excited about it,” he said.

“I think the game will be 50:50.

“Arsenal will come to play and they will come forward but that means we will get the chance to attack ourselves and that’s exciting.

“I have had a feeling for a while that we will find it easier against the top teams to play the sort of football we want to.

“They will attack and we must defend well but we will get chances of our own to attack and we must make the most of them.”

Di Canio knows that Sunderland fans have not enjoyed the most stirring start to a season so far.

But he is banking on their full support tomorrow for a game he hopes will produce the Black Cats’ first league win of the season.

He said: “I believe our fans are intelligent fans who understand that we have had to make big changes to try to take the club further.

“And I think they understand that when you make big changes, things take time.

“But I am confident they will be just as much behind us as they were against Fulham.

“They want us only to succeed and that’s exactly what we are working so hard to achieve.”