New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has said that he cannot wait for the Chelsea match during the weekend. The north-east club appointed the former Swindon Town manager as the replacement for Martin O’Neill within a few days after his sacking.
The appointment of the 44-year-old has drawn mixed reaction due to the enigmatic character. He will be having one of the toughest assignments for a manager at a new club, as he will be leading his team to face Chelsea during the weekend. The away trip to Stamford Bridge will be one of the toughest between now and then of the season for Sunderland.
The team are just one point above the relegation zone with only seven matches remaining in the campaign. Di Canio has recalled how he has experienced the success against Chelsea as a player with West Ham United. The 44-year-old Italian scored a stunning volley back in 2006. He has said that it is extremely important that the players make an impact in the first match itself. Due to the fact that they are facing the European champions, Di Canio has said that there is extra motivation within the squad.
However, Di Canio will have to deal with several injury problems in his squad with the likes of Carlos Cuellar doubtful. “(We are) away from home against Chelsea, where obviously I have good memories and scored when I was a footballer. But I’m not a footballer now, I’m a manager and now I hope my players will score there and give us some points. It’s fantastic. The players will be motivated on their own; they live to play on the big stage. Obviously we are going to give them extra motivation to try to get a very good result,” said Di Canio ahead of the trip to Chelsea on Sunday evening.