Paolo Di Canio insists he can motivate his Sunderland side to remain afloat in the Premier League.

The Black Cats sit 17th, just two points clear of 18th-placed Wigan Athletic, ahead of Monday night's meeting with Stoke City and Di Canio is looking for a positive response from his side who were 6-1 by Aston Villa last Monday.

The Italian made it clear he would not call in a sports psychologist to try and get his players up.

"I think it's down to me as I know the players and how to approach them," he said.

"It's for me to handle them after they win or lose, not a psychologist.

"They can help if a player has some difficulty but not to improve their ambition or desire. That comes from the leader and I lead them.

"I don't want to say you can't use a psychologist if someone has a problem outside football that reflects on their game.

"Some footballers panic when they can't drive a car. I had one player at Swindon who couldn't drive on the motorway.

"I can't help there. A psychologist would have knowledge to help.

"But in terms of ambition and desire, that comes from me, from (Sir Alex) Ferguson and (Jose) Mourinho. It comes from the manager. "

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