SUNDERLAND boss Paolo Di Canio lambasted pretty much all his players in the wake of their lacklustre defeat to Premier League relegation favourites Crystal Palace at the weekend.
But it was John O’Shea and Ji Dong-won took the brunt of his ire.
The skipper was in the firing line for conceding a sloppy penalty which also saw him sent off; the striker for an inexplicable failure to head home a perfect cross.
O’Shea, dismissed in the 77th minute of the match, apologised after the match in the dressing room for his costly slip, and while Di Canio accepted it, he remained by it.
“He is one of our best and experienced players, so I would rather he not come into the dressing room and say ‘sorry’, because two games in a row is already too much,” he said.
“Last week, his foul cost two points and this week, it was a minimum of one point.
“It was a poor goal goal to concede but the first two goals were very pathetic.
“We have to be honest; they are pathetic for this level.”
Ji’s failure to convert an easy chance dumbfounded the Italian who withdrew him at half-time and questioned his attitude.
“What can I do about the heart of my player?” he pondered. “The ball came in and instead of sticking his head out to meet the ball, he pulled it away!
“I was disappointed in him.
“Ji was upset, but he was on the bench and suffered all game there. “
Former striker Di Canio was critical of both of his starting front men.
“Ji, you wonder whether he was more interested in the international that is coming up next week and organising his trip there and back, than he was in the Palace game.
“Connor, I did not think he played well, maybe because he scored one-and-a-half goals against MK Dons maybe he is over the moon.
“But we needed him to hold the ball up much better than he did on the day. He is capable of holding up the ball so much better than he did.”