Paolo Di Canio blames influential figure for Black Cats issues

Paolo Di Canio At Upton Park

Paolo Di Canio believes that Gus Poyet is not to blame for Sunderland’s poor season.

Quoted in the Daily Mirror, Di Canio has told the Italian media that Gus Poyet is not to blame for Sunderland’s poor form this season.

The former Italian striker lasted just 13 games in charge of the Black Cats, keeping them in the Premier League after Martin O’Neill’s dismissal in March 2013. He stayed at the club the following season, gaining just one point from five league games, before being sacked in September.

Gus Poyet was then appointed and he too kept the club in the top flight in his debut season. However, this campaign has not gone anywhere near as smoothly - and the Wearside outfit sit just one point off the relegation places with nine games left.

Poyet has taken much of the criticism for Sunderland’s poor showing the season, with his dour style of football bringing the Black Cats just 23 goals in 29 games - and the joint-lowest number of wins in the entire division.

The Uruguayan coach is right to take some of the blame, of course, but, speaking to Fox Italia, and quoted by the Mirror, Di Canio believes the blame should not lie with Poyet or the fans - but with chairman Ellis Short.

“The team is in disarray,” Di Canio admitted. “And it is not the fault of the fans, who are fantastic. There are always 45,000 for every game.

“I do not speak of those on the bench because the problems are born from above. From Ellis Short.

“I saved Sunderland when they were in free fall - I and my staff made a real miracle on the field but also in the spirit. The indecency is now before the eyes of everyone - and the fans are not happy. But the choices are from above.”

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