Paolo Di Canio confident of survival

Paolo Di Canio
© PA Photos
Paolo Di Canio insists that he can guide Sunderland to Premier League safety after being announced as Martin O'Neill's replacement at the Stadium of Light.

Paolo Di Canio has backed his newly-acquired Sunderland squad to get out of the Premier League relegation zone as soon as possible.

The former Swindon Town boss was announced as the successor to Martin O'Neill on Sunday after the 61-year-old was dismissed from his Stadium of Light position the previous evening.

Di Canio inherits a Black Cats squad that are without a win in eight games and just one point clear of the bottom three, but he has insisted that they have the "desire" to play their way to safety.

"We are here for a mission and that is to keep the club in the Premier League," he told Sky Sports News.

"Obviously, I want the maximum ability and I have to be honest, I found a good bunch of lads with the desire and it's obvious that we are going to change a bit of the philosophy during training because I want maximum dedication and collaboration.

"To be honest, there is a foundation which is already very good. We have five or six players with a very professional ethic. We want to get out of this situation as soon as we can."

Di Canio begins his Sunderland tenure with a trip to Chelsea this weekend.

Paolo Di Canio
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