Scotland U21 manager Billy Stark believes Paolo Di Canio can be the man to rescue Sunderland.
The Italian was named the new manager of the Wearside club on Sunday night but his appointment has been met with derision from some outsiders and media commentators.
Although he does admit it is a slight risk, Stark feels his former Celtic teammate has the manner to become a decent manager at the top level.
“Paolo has the personality and the authority to be a manager,” he told SunSport after Di Canio replaced Martin O’Neill.
“He did a great job at Swindon and has very fixed ideas on how the game should be played. He wants his teams to attack and be entertaining. Teams nowadays seem to sack managers with six or seven games to go, despite the fact that they still have the same players.
“It’s a panic measure because of the prizes that the English Premier League brings.
“Martin has a great track record and it tells you it’s a big gamble to get rid of an established manager who’s been over the course before.
“Sunderland feel Paolo will bring something different, a spark to get the two or three wins they need in the last few games to get over the line.
“Paolo always had a great love of football and he loved training and playing.
“When the playing stops, the next best thing is to go into coaching or management.
“I couldn’t see him living without football. He loved it so much.
“He’d do anything to win. He ran himself to the point of exhaustion to win. When you want to compete and win like that, maybe it’s natural to go into management.”