Paolo Di Canio to stick with his odd couple up front at Sunderland


PAOLO DI Canio aims to persist with two contrasting frontmen when he has a full quota of strikers to choose from.

Di Canio’s front pair has largely picked itself over his opening three games in charge, with Danny Graham injured for the head coach’s Sunderland bow at Chelsea and then Connor Wickham missing the back-to-back wins over Newcastle and Everton.

That has seen Stephane Sessegnon restored to the role behind the central striker, and the Benin international has responded with two goals in Sunderland’s last two games.

But even when Di Canio’s has more attacking options at his disposal, his blueprint will remain along similar lines.

The Italian believes that having one member of the front two capable of dropping deep and linking the play with midfield is the best way of achieving the brand of football he wants for Sunderland.

Di Canio said: “Since I came in, this is the best way I’ve found to link the lines together.

“I prefer two different players and that might mean a number 10 like Stephane; someone who can receive the ball between the two lines.

“Once they turn, they can go one-vs-one and beat their opponents with their ability or pick a pass.

“This is the football I want to see because as much as we can, I want to see the ball on the ground.

“With two centre-forwards, you can do that still, but you are more predictable because they don’t have 40 yards in their legs to beat their opponent.

“That’s not being negative about them, they just have different characteristics.”