• Premier League

Di Canio will listen to his players

ESPN staff
April 4, 2013

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio says he does not plan to run the club as a dictatorship.

There is still a sense of ambiguity regarding the 44-year-old and his management style, with the former West Ham striker recently revealing his players do not have to admire him, merely follow him.

However, the Italian says he has spent time trying to understand the new members of his squad in a bid to cultivate a better working relationship.

Di Canio has held extensive chats with John O'Shea to understand the team's shortcomings in a bid to rectify the poor form that has seen them without a win in eight games.

"It is obvious that when you arrive at a club you need to sit down and have a chat with them," he told the Sunderland Echo. "We have done that. I have had to look at the players, the experienced ones and the young ones, the players who look confident and maybe the players who are not so confident. We have done tests. We have seen how they feel about what has happened in the last few weeks.

"But this is natural and it is part of our intelligence, to see how they feel, to see how they are and what their habits are on and off the field. Clearly with someone like John O'Shea - who is the captain now with Lee Cattermole being out with injury - we have a chat. I have to listen to his opinion and that of other players.

"It is obvious that, at the end of the day, you have to have your own ideas but it is important to have communication with them. Sometimes you can do it in a very quiet way, occasionally you may need a confrontation. But what I can tell you, is that they were very helpful and they understood the need to restore belief and confidence in this moment. That is good, because it means we have a basis for understanding and can hopefully work together to improve the team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.