Paolo Di Canio hopes for inspiration from cup winners

Swindon boss Paulo Di Canio on the touchline against Colchester on February 5, 2013
© PA Photos
Paolo Di Canio hopes that his team take inspiration from Sunderland's 1973 CA Cup-winning heroes, who will be honoured before tonight's game with Stoke City.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is hoping that his players will be inspired by the heroes of the 1973 FA Cup-winning team before tonight's clash with Stoke City.

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of when the Black Cats, then a Division Two side, defeated Leeds United at Wembley thanks to a single Ian Porterfield goal.

In honour of that landmark, the club will welcome members of Bob Stokoe's side onto the pitch before kickoff at the Stadium of Light.

Di Canio hopes that the tributes will contribute to a positive atmosphere as his side fight to keep their heads above water in the Premier League.

"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," Di Canio told reporters. "Hopefully the same atmosphere and the same positive energy can remain in the stadium for my players.

"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.

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

The 1973 FA Cup remains the club's last major triumph.

Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon is shown a red card against Aston Villa on April 29, 2013
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