Sky sources: Sunderland players' intervention key to Paolo Di Canio sacking

Image: Paolo Di Canio: Faced down Sunderland fans after defeat at West Brom

Paolo Di Canio was sacked after some senior Sunderland players complained to the club about him, Sky sources understand.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short is busily drawing up a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Di Canio, but is in no rush to make an appointment as he attempts to get the right man. But whoever does eventually get the job, Martyn McFadden, editor of fanzine A Love Supreme, insists it must be a man who can knit together a dressing room decimated during the death throes of Di Canio's ill-fated reign. McFadden said: "We have got a position where we have got 14 new players and most of them have got little or no Premier League experience. "We need to get an experienced manager who knows how to get the best out of these players, someone who knows how to handle the players. "Some of these players need an arm around their shoulders, a bit of man-management as opposed to lambasting them and dismantling confidence." Di Canio managed only three victories in his 13 games in charge and just two of them in the league, although the first, a 3-0 derby win at Newcastle, granted him instant hero status on Wearside. McFadden said: "People will always be grateful to him for the fantastic day out in Newcastle we had and that's what made him initially so popular with the fans. "The bottom line is he wasn't given long enough and that has angered some fans, but that's Ellis Short's decision." Sunderland's next Premier League game against Liverpool is live from 3.30pm on Sky Sports 1 this Sunday.

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