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Di Canio denies Sunderland bust-up

1 October 2013 18:40

Paolo Di Canio has refuted claims that a bust-up with senior players led to his dismissal as Sunderland manager.

The Italian's brief stint at the Stadium of Light came to end last month a day after Sunderland suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat away to West Brom.

That result left Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table having taken just one point in 2013-14.

Rumours soon circulated that an argument with the squad led to some players going to the club's hierarchy to complain about Di Canio's management of the team.

But the 42-year-old has vehemently denied the speculation.

In a statement released to the League Managers Association, Di Canio said: "There has been a lot written in the media in recent days, much of it wholly untrue.

"There was no training ground bust-up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them to improve as footballers."

Di Canio was appointed at Sunderland in March, replacing former incumbent Martin O'Neill.

Di Canio oversaw two league victories - against Newcastle United and Everton - during his 13-game tenure, but the former Swindon Town manager feels he was not given enough time to prove himself in the Premier League and would like to return to England.

He continued: "As I have said many times, I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short as given the chance.

"I am certain that had I been allowed longer I would have been able to develop the team to achieve the success Sunderland fans desire.

"I remain confident in my ability and I want to manage again in England as soon as I can.

"When things like this happen it is important to take something positive from it. I have learnt a lot from my brief time at Sunderland and I am sure that this will only make me a better manager in my next job."

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