Apr 14, 2013 at 12pm UK at ​St James' Park
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Craig Gardner: 'Paolo Di Canio is already a Sunderland legend'

New Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio on the touchline during the match against Chelsea on April 7, 2013
© PA Photos
Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner claims that new Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio is already a legend on Wearside.

Craig Gardner has claimed that Paolo Di Canio has already established iconic status at Sunderland following their derby win over Newcastle United.

The new Black Cats boss oversaw a 3-0 victory at St James' Park on Sunday, a result that moved Sunderland three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

It was only Di Canio's second game in charge on Wearside, but versatile midfielder Gardner has revealed that the Italian is already a favourite with the club's fans and players.

"Obviously when a new manager comes in everybody wants to impress, everybody raises their work-rate and everything really," Gardner told Sky Sports News.

"He has done a log of tactical work on the training field. He's become a legend overnight we have won the derby and the fans love him, the players love him and hopefully we have some good times ahead now."

Gardner has made 35 appearances for Sunderland this season, scoring eight goals.

Sunderland's Craig Gardener celebrates his penalty equaliser against Wigan on January 19, 2013
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