PAOLO DI CANIO has set a minimum quota of four red and white shirts in the opposition box to reverse Sunderland’s lean streak.
Sunderland have netted just seven times in their nine-game winless run, with that meagre tally a major factor in the Wearsiders’ descent to the crest of the relegation zone.
The lack of attacking support has been a sorry theme throughout the season, with lone striker Steven Fletcher too often the only Black Cats player in the opposing penalty area.
It was a deficiency new head coach Di Canio immediately spotted after succeeding Martin O’Neill and one he has attempted to rectify on the training ground, without leaving Sunderland unnecessarily gung-ho.
But Di Canio believes the first half of last weekend’s defeat at Chelsea was evidence that his new players are grasping a more attacking philosophy.
Di Canio said: “I want to create chances and deliver a positive message.
“There was a moment when we had six men in the opponents’ box at Chelsea.
“If you attack with those players, you need discipline to have a balance, but I want to see a minimum of four players in the box.
“That is my mentality.
“I saw that straightaway at Chelsea. We created chances and scored a goal from a set-piece.
“I don’t want to exaggerate and say our performance at Chelsea was fantastic.
“But considering the circumstances and performances over recent weeks, it was fantastic in terms of discipline off-the-ball.
“Even when we regained the ball, we did very well.”
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