After the grim display at Villa Park, Sunderland started against Stoke City as if someone had persuaded them life in the Championship isn’t so bad, after all, so why not give it a shot? Paolo Di Canio’s post-match e-mail rightly makes no attempt to excuse Craig Gardner, rightly praises the qualities of pride and commitment shown by the 10 men and – having previously, post-Chelsea, described the remaining games as being six FA Cup finals – freely acknowledges that the one against Southampton is now our Champions League final …
I’m very proud of the pride, passion and quality that were on display tonight.
All of that together has made this a very big result for us. The win over Newcastle will go down in the club’s history, but for me, what the players did tonight is 2,000 times bigger than what we did that day.
Although we didn’t get the three points, the fight and spirit that I saw in my players and how they remained organised and didn’t lose their brains makes me very happy and very proud.
When I see my team play like that it makes me confident and that combined with the tremendous atmosphere in the stadium makes tonight a game to remember.
Craig [Gardner] has said sorry to everyone in the dressing room. I would prefer it that players do not get themselves in a situation to have to say sorry for their actions, but we know Craig, we know he has a big heart but he has to learn, he has made a mistake and he has to handle the pressure.
I can’t defend his challenge, it was very bad, but it’s done and it’s possible that it [Gardner’s sending off] gave us the motivation to go on and get something from the game.
We started playing more freely and after going down to 10-men the players reacted really well.
We got a point; it was a fantastic effort and a fantastic performance. We now have to look forward to the next game – it is a Champions League Final for us.
When I hear the fans I feel as though I have my family in the stands, they are amazing. They were so loud for the whole game – they are something unique.
All the best
Paolo Di Canio
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5 thoughts on “Paolo’s Pow-Wow: after Stoke, Southampton’s our Champions League final”
Short wanted players offloading before MON could buy Graham. Graham needs to contribute with goals PDQ.
How many centre halfs are crocked? Cuellar looking increasingly static. I liked Turner but we know what happened.
Missed Catt all season….though Gardner’s tackle made for a good impersonation. More proof that he’s not a FB. Is bardsley injured? Colback a better player all round not to mention as a stand-in FB
NDiaye looking better with each game. Vaughan will be Ok against Saints but not Spurs
Fletch crocked at a bad time or us. Then there’s McLean…..oh dear
Bring on the young’ns
Conflicted about Wigan as a win tonight would drop Nufc in the clarts ….. Hubris abounds….we’re not safe…2nd half against Villa and 1st half last night were amongst the poorest displays I can recall…..woe
The manager has few alternatives left what with the legacy of O’Neill’s transfer dealings, injuries and now two players suspended. I assume Danny Rose won’t be eligible to play against Spurs so I would expect that Mignolet and Westwood will both have striped shirts with their names and numbers for that game, as PDC will be down to the bare bones. Let’s hope we don’t need a result by then.
Interestingly (to me at least) whilst four of the five outfield subs spent most of the match warming up on the touchline Mangane never got off the bench so would appear to be another O’Neill loan signing who never gets a game.
O’Neill’s action in selling Campbell and Meyler, for not much money and at such a critical time, takes a lot of explaining. They have scored 10 or 11 goals between them, in helping their new clubs to promotion. He [ MO’N ] could at least have waited until the end of the season, if he didn’t see them as long term prospects.
And don’t forget he let Ji, Wickham and Elmohamady go out on loan whilst offloading Saha and McFadden to bring in N’daiye, Mangane and Graham leaving us short in the forward line.
I accept that Saha and McFadden wouldn’t have made much difference at the time so why bring them in in the first place? Now he leaves his successor with nothing to work with. Still had he still been at the club we would have been down by now which saddens me as for a while, like many others I thought MON would take the club forward.
We need to play to our strengths we have a game left at home that we need to win. Our defence will need to keep a clean sheet and the midfield set up to be able to score. Set pieces are the key. Keep the faith
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