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Silverware is the priority, says Di Canio

18 April 2013 21:36

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio says that fans should not call him a hero until he wins them a trophy.

The Italian's wild celebrations throughout their 3-0 demolition of rivals Newcastle on Sunday, their first win on Tyneside in 13 years, won him admirers among fans.

But he is adamant that even ensuring Premier League survival this season would not be enough to warrant such status.

"I don't want to be a hero now. I don't want to be a hero when we stay up, I don't want to be a hero next year," Di Canio told reporters.

"It's easy for the fans to call the players, the manager, heroes if they do the right things and an incredible job.

"Maybe one day, if we win something, they can call me hero but it's not the time now, even if we stay up. It's not the time for a single game.

"I understand what it means - I used to do the same as a Lazio fan. I know but it's not enough for me, not even if we stay up. If we stay up, it would be a fantastic step to build a good future.

"One day, in 10 years' time, if I become the best manager in the club's history, they can call me hero - even if I don't like this adjective hero, anyway - otherwise it's not enough."

Di Canio said that, while he was happy with the players during and after the win against Newcastle, the most pleasing aspect was when they began preparation for their next game against Everton.

He added: "I have to be honest, obviously the day after Newcastle, I saw a very good mood. It was fantastic for the players. But I was more happy two days later when we started again with a training session together because I saw them really focused and concentrated on the next match.

"I was worried the day before I met them because I was thinking: 'I don't know them, I haven't known them for many years, so I don't know how they will react'.

"That can be a poison instead of an extra lift but the way they have done things in the last few days has made me very happy because I have seen them really focused for the next match."

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Premier League table

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