As most of Wearside worries about Saturday’s clash with West Brom, Jermain Defoe looks further onto the horizon. With Leicester City the next team to visit Wearside after the Baggies, Defoe is well aware of how an upset could affect both ends of the table.
“Leicester are a great team. What they've done there this year is an unbelievable story. But I'd like to win that game - and then at the end of the season we're safe and Tottenham win the league”
With only eight games remaining, Sunderland need as many wins on the board as possible, and any surprise wins will go a long way to ensuring safety.
“Five of our eight matches are at home and that's important. As players we've got to perform - it's as simple as that. It's a lot of pressure but the rewards are so big. On a personal note, I'd like to just keep scoring goals and help the club be back in the Premier League next season”
Bridcutt’s Horror Tackle
Making only his second international appearance for Scotland, Liam Bridcutt has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons today. With just ten minutes remaining in Scotland’s victory over Denmark last night, Liam Bridcutt, who was only introduced ten minutes earlier, lunged into a horror tackle on Celtic’s Erik Sviatchenko.
Despite crashing into the Dane, with both feet off the ground, the former Brighton man was only booked for the challenge which has drew widespread criticism.
Defending himself, Bridcutt has said:
“I think that’s a normal Championship tackle. For everyone who knows me and knows the way I play, I’m that kind of player. I go in 100 per cent and I go in fair”
Sviatchenko, meanwhile, had this to say on the foul:
“I was very lucky. It was a horrible tackle. When you see the replay it is unbelievable I didn’t get a serious injury”
Di Canio’s Advice
Paolo’s back! Great news for anyone bored stiff over the international break. He’s been talking about likely new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, giving his fellow Italian some advice ahead of his move to the Premier League.
“I say be careful, try to learn the English mentality straight away. Sometimes words put into a sentence come out differently. Sometimes you can have the stamp of the donkey because you say something you didn't intend”
The comments are the first acknowledgement of his man-management skills, or lack of them, even if delivered in typically Paolo fashion.
The pair were teammates at Juventus in the early 1990s, and Di Canio has warned of the differences between England’s top flight and Serie A.
“It's important to have a member of the club who understands everything of English football. Not only in the way you deliver your methodology or your tactics, but also in the way you need to deliver the words at the end of the game, before the game, the message during the week”
“Don't do it like Di Canio!"