PAOLO DI CANIO believes Aston Villa are approaching the last-chance saloon in their survival quest.
Villa’s breathing space with the relegation zone was reduced to two points after Wigan’s draw with Spurs on Saturday, with the Latics still boasting a game in hand after Paul Lambert’s side meet Sunderland tonight.
Should Villa fail to record a first win in three this evening, then their final games are daunting ones too, with a trip to fellow strugglers Norwich followed by the visit of Champions League-chasing Chelsea and a potential last day showdown at Wigan.
Although Di Canio is far from complacent about Sunderland’s position in the relegation scrap, he claims the pressure lies with the hosts at Villa Park tonight.
“They are under pressure more than us,” said Sunderland head coach Di Canio.
“There are not 20 games to go, only four.
“Even if we lose tonight, we will stay above them, and they have to go to Norwich and play at home against Chelsea who beat them 8-0 in December.
“They are difficult games and then they play Wigan on the last day. It is very tough for them.
“I wouldn’t say this is their last chance, but it is nearly their last chance.
“For us, it is not the last chance.
“That doesn’t mean that we can relax – definitely not – but it does mean there is less pressure on us.
“If we go there with the right determination and work hard, I think we will get the win we need to stay up.”