• Premier League

Di Canio: Sunderland must 'go to war'

ESPN staff
April 10, 2013
Paolo Di Canio has been parachuted in at the Stadium of Light to save Sunderland from relegation © PA Photos

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has instructed his players to 'go to war' ahead of Sunday's crunch Tyne-Wear derby with Newcastle.

The Black Cats travel to St James' Park in desperate need of a victory, as they currently sit 17th in the Premier League table, above Wigan Athletic on goal difference. Despite a promising first half against Chelsea, Di Canio's men stretched their winless streak to nine games, with defender Danny Rose saying they must forget about the 2-1 defeat.

"The gaffer's said we've got to fight a war on Sunday," Rose told the Journal. "We've got to try and forget about Chelsea, and try and use the things we did well and take them into the derby."

Just as Rose is keen to distance himself from the past, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has insisted the club cannot look too far ahead in their survival bid. Also lamenting the club's lack of good fortune recently, Mignolet is keen to see Sunderland earn some luck during Sunday's encounter.

"We can't think about what's going to happen in the Everton game [which follows the derby] or the game after that, or what's going to happen at the end of the season," the Belgian said.

"Now we have to focus and get ourselves ready I know obviously it's a derby game and there is much more at stake than only the three points, but as football players, you can't think of that because that's not important at this moment. Points are far more important, and therefore we have to focus ourselves on that and nothing else.

"There is no such thing as luck in football, you just force that yourself. Let's make sure we force the luck our way against Newcastle because that's very important. We had a great first half against Chelsea, we also had a decent second half against Manchester United - let's hope we can combine those two halves now into one game against Newcastle."

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