Football - Di Canio: I'm not worried by start

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has launched a staunch defence of his start at the Stadium of Light and vowed he will lead the Black Cats to a comfortable mid-table position by Christmas.

PA Sport

Di Canio's men head into Saturday's clash with Arsenal having picked up just one point from their first three games - and also have fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United soon to come.

But Di Canio is adamant he has seen enough encouraging signs to shrug off suggestions that he could start feeling the pressure if his side slump to another defeat against the Gunners.

Di Canio said: "I never feel pressure. Even in 20 games' time if we still had one point I would feel responsible but not under pressure - it is different.

"After three games I am not worried. I know by December we will be nearly in the middle of the table. I'm sure about that. In December, January, February we will win many games and take off.

"I'm sure about my strategy and philosophy and methodology. But it is difficult because in football there is panic, the players sometimes don't believe in things. You have to believe that in 20 games' time you will be in a different position."

Di Canio believes a lack of communication has proved a crucial part in his side's sluggish start, having signed 13 foreign players - including deadline-day buys Fabio Borini and Andrea Dossena - over the summer.

And he has demanded his new boys take it upon themselves to learn English as he seeks to cut out the kind of silly errors which sent them to defeat at Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.

Di Canio added: "I can help but I can't become a school teacher for the foreign players every single moment. They have to think they have decided to come to England so they have to speak English.

"If you are intelligent and you really want to gel with the others you have to think one day I will learn five or 10 key words for the match. It takes five minutes, and it is their responsibility.

View comments (3)
Write for Yahoo Sport