Premier League - Di Canio slams 'snobby, lazy' Sunderland

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has laid into his players after a "pathetic" 3-1 Premier League loss to Crystal Palace.

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Premier League - Di Canio slams 'snobby, lazy' Sunderland

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Paolo Di Canio apologises to Sunderland's travelling fans at Crystal Palace (Reuters)

The Italian lamented “three poor and pathetic goals” conceded by his team, and was scathing about the performance of captain John O’Shea, who conceded a penalty and was sent off, and striker Ji Dong-Won.

He also said he hoped his players would be dropped from their national teams because it would help them focus on Sunderland.

Di Canio said: “If we play with a less snobby, less lazy, attitude, obviously we are going to get something more from the game. Otherwise it will be difficult.”

The game changed at 1-1, when O’Shea miscontrolled an easy ball and tripped Palace’s Dwight Gayle inside the box.

Sunderland captain O’Shea was shown a red card and Dwight Gayle converted the penalty.

“The penalty is something really poor, really poor, really poor,” Di Canio told the BBC.

“It came from nothing, nothing. It wasn’t a dangerous situation and we game away a penalty and a red card for my leader. That’s not acceptable, to be honest.”

Asked if he was disappointed with O’Shea, he replied: “Not only John O’Shea, with a few players. Because it means there is not the right attention and desire.”

Di Canio then turned his ire on Ji, who was shown to duck out of a header inside the Palace six-yard box.

The manager said: “Up front, when you play the first half with kids without fire, without desire - when you have the ball three yards from the opponent’s goalline, and my player, rather than push his neck out to score a goal, retreats his neck because he is worried, what can you do? I can’t change the heart of my players.”

He added: “We can work, and hope they are going to play much less national team games. Because otherwise I’m going to work every week before the international break with the players today talking: ‘Which flight can I get? When can I come back?” And they don’t focus on the game which is more important.

Despite attacking his players, Di Canio claimed he was not angry because the team had played too badly.

"Today it was difficult to be angry," he said. "Normally I can tell you I'm very angry, but today it was difficult - it was too poor that it was really difficult to say something.

"I don't think that even the most arrogant player in the world could argue if you said the first two goals were absolute rubbish.

"My leader (O'Shea) was already in the dressing room and said sorry to everybody - how can you be angry?

"They are intelligent and understand when they do something bad. I couldn't be angry but obviously I was really sad."

The Italian felt his side were in the game after Fletcher had headed the visitors level just after the hour, and reasoned the penalty and resulting red card turned the game in Palace's favour.

"We were on top after we drew level," Di Canio added.

"The second goal was very poor. It came from nothing. My leader let the ball get away behind him and then tried to tackle the opponent and it cost us - the goal and the red card.

"They took advantage from our mistake and they put everything on the field. They never gave up but to be honest their goals were very poor."

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