Di Canio for Sunderland

Paolo Di Canio.
Paolo Di Canio.
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Sunderland have appointed Paolo Di Canio as their new coach on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The former Sheffield Wednesday striker emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Martin O’Neill, who was sacked in the wake of their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday. Di Canio will take charge from today after travelling to the north east for talks.

Di Canio’s immediate objective will be to revitalise a squad for a seven-game run-in which will determine where the Black Cats will play next season.

They are currently just a point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone after a run of eight games without a win.