• Premier League

Sunderland sack Di Canio

ESPN staff
September 22, 2013
Paolo Di Canio confronted the Sunderland fans on Saturday © PA Photos

Sunderland have confirmed the sacking of Paolo Di Canio.

The Italian leaves the Stadium of Light after only 13 games in charge, but has been under pressure since the start of the season as Sunderland are bottom of the Premier League with no wins and just one point from their opening five games.

The defeat to West Brom on Saturday saw Sunderland fans vent their feelings towards Di Canio, with the manager going over to the away section of the ground to confront the supporters. Di Canio revealed he accepted the criticism aimed at him.

A statement from Sunderland's official website read: "Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening.

"Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night's Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future."

Di Canio took charge of Sunderland towards the backend of last season, where he was tasked of keeping them in the Premier League. The highlight of his short reign came in the Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle at St James' Park.

The 45-year-old lasted less than six months at the Stadium of Light after agreeing to join the club on the March 31. Replacing Martin O'Neill at the helm, he faced a difficult beginning to his time on Wearside with Sunderland deep in a relegation battle with just eight games remaining.

Securing two wins and two draws during his first eight games in charge, the Black Cats were able to avoid demotion after Wigan failed to beat Arsenal at the Emirates

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