Gary Neville unsure of Paolo Di Canio appointment

Paolo Di Canio before kickoff
© PA Photos
Gary Neville labels Paolo Di Canio's arrival at Sunderland as a 'risky' appointment, but does believe that the Italian can life an out-of-form Black Cats squad.

Gary Neville believes that Paolo Di Canio's arrival will lift the Sunderland players, but has admitted that the Italian is a risky appointment at the Stadium of Light.

Former Swindon Town boss Di Canio was installed as the new Black Cats manager on Sunday, just 24 hours after Martin O'Neill had been axed.

The ex-West Ham United striker is known for his eccentric management style and Manchester United full-back-turned-Sky Sports pundit Neville has confessed his surprise at Sunderland's decision.

"I do not know what is going to happen," Neville told Monday Night Football "It is very un-Sunderland-like when you think of [previous managers] Peter Reid, Niall Quinn, Roy Keane, Steve Bruce and Martin O'Neill. You could argue it is very different from those appointments.

"It is a change of tact. Maybe that is something [Sunderland chairman] Ellis Short was very conscious of and wanted to do. It is a risk but life is about risks.

"We will only know in a few weeks' time. I have to say, the whole atmosphere on Saturday looked a little bit dejected. In some ways, Di Canio coming in will give Sunderland a massive lift and he did well at Swindon."

Di Canio begins his Sunderland tenure with a trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

Paolo Di Canio
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