PAOLO DI CANIO insists Sunderland’s final day clash at Spurs is far from a dead rubber.
The noose of the relegation dogfight has been removed from Sunderland’s necks after Wigan’s defeat at Arsenal in midweek saw the FA Cup winners claim the final place in the bottom three.
But there remains plenty on offer for Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Sunday, not least the financial rewards for finishing higher up the table.
Should the Black Cats remain fourth bottom, they will receive just over £3million in prize money.
But with £755,000 riding on every place, Sunderland could pocket an extra £4.5m if they leapfrog Aston Villa, Fulham, Southampton, Newcastle, Norwich and Stoke by winning at Spurs.
The money is not Di Canio’s primary concern, but the Sunderland head coach is eager to finish higher up the pecking order than 17th.
“It’s crucial that we get something from the game on Sunday because I don’t want to finish with another defeat and I don’t want to finish fourth-bottom,” said Di Canio.
“It is not possible to go into this weekend and not want to win - those are not my values.
“We are safe but my players have to be professional and approach the game in the right way
“I like the genuine approach to the game in this country, everyone gives everything in every game - just as Swansea did against Wigan last week, even though there was maybe nothing riding on the game for Swansea.
“It is important to me. I always want to win every game, even when I play football in the garden with my daughter!”