Sacked Di Canio breaks silence to claim Sunderland bust-up reports are ‘wholly untrue’

PAULO DI CANIO ... Martin O' Neill has called him 'a managerial charlatan'.
PAULO DI CANIO ... Martin O' Neill has called him 'a managerial charlatan'.

SACKED Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has denied that a training ground spat prompted his dismissal from the Stadium of Light.

Di Canio today broke his silence on his acrominous departure from Sunderland after issuing a statement to Sky Sports News on his sacking nine days ago.

The Italian has insisted that he would have turned Sunderland’s fortunes around and he needed more time after 14 new arrivals on Wearside during the summer.

And Di Canio has also claimed that a dressing room rebellion was not the source of his departure and says he has received message of support from several players.

“When I joined the club last season with the aim of saving them from relegation, I was happy to be offered the opportunity to manage in the Premier League,” said Di Canio.

“I walked into a challenging situation but achieved what I was asked to do, the highlight of which was the fantastic performance and win against Newcastle, which is something I will always remember.

“When you bring in 14 new players, many from overseas and very few with Premiership experience it is going to take time for them to adapt to the English game and to gel as a team.

“As I have said many times, I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short as given the chance.

“I am certain that had I been allowed longer, I would have been able to develop the team to achieve the success Sunderland fans desire.

“There has been a lot written in the media in recent days, much of it wholly untrue.

“There was no training ground bust-up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them to improve as footballers.

“We could see that results had not gone as well as any of us had hoped, but I felt as a team we could turn things around.

“I remain confident in my ability and I want to manage again in England as soon as I can.

“When things like this happen it is important to take something positive from it. I have learnt a lot from my brief time at Sunderland and I am sure that this will only make me a better manager in my next job.

“Even though my time at the club ended prematurely, I would like to thank Sunderland for giving me my first opportunity to be a Premier League manager.”