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Di Canio confident win over Stoke will keep Sunderland up

4 May 2013 16:05

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio remains confident of Premier League survival despite their heavy defeat to Aston Villa.

After taking over from Martin O'Neill at the end of March, the Italian appeared to have turned things around at the Stadium of Light with back-to-back victories over Newcastle and Everton, however the heavy defeat to Aston Villa has plunged them back into trouble as they prepare to face Stoke.

That loss left Sunderland five points clear of Wigan in the bottom three with three games to go and Di Canio is confident that they are still in with a good chance of survival at the end of the season.

"Even after this big, big defeat, we are in a better position than many others," he said.

"We have one game less to play and we have a better goal difference - obviously we reduced it a bit in the last game.

"We play at home against Stoke, so it is in our hands. It hasn't changed - if we win our game on Monday night probably we will stay up."

The match with Tony Pulis' side also falls exactly 40 years since Sunderland won the FA Cup and Di Canio, who admitted he loved the traditions in football, believes that his current side can use the inspiration of the 1973 side to pull themselves away from trouble and onto better things next season.

"I always follow the tradition of every club," he added.

"Here, I discovered in 1973 they were up against Leeds and the cup and it was a fantastic moment.

"When you know this moment, you feel the atmosphere around you and the club, and everybody is prepared for this moment to receive the heroes.

"I hope that this moment can be shared by my players and the fans together because they can deliver a positive energy.

"It can be an extra motivation for the fans and for my players especially to deliver something important, because one day they can be remembered for the rest of their lives at this club and in this area.

"I am really happy to know Sunday is the anniversary and on Monday night we will receive before the game all the heroes from 1973, and hopefully the same atmosphere and the same positive energy can remain in the stadium for my players.

"Now we are fighting to stay up, but one day I hope we can fight for something different."

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