Sunderland boss Di Canio not bothered by Newcastle hostility

Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio isn't bothered about what awaits him at Newcastle United’s St James' Park.

Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio isn't bothered about what awaits him at Newcastle United’s St James' Park.

The controversial Italian, well known for his pitchside antics, has admitted supporters will have to accept his behaviour is part of his make-up.

Northumbria Police have warned Newcastle supporters that any fascist jibes aimed at Di Canio or visiting fans from Sunderland would result in their arrest.

But Di Canio said: "I don’t understand why the police say this. I don’t feel anything. I don’t hear them.

"For sure I will hear much more than 2000 fans because it will be 50,000 obviously but I absorb the energy. When I was a footballer I took it from my fans and also the away fans, they lift me, they make me enjoy the occasion and I hear the chants and I think "OK now I score, I celebrate". Now as a manager all my attention is on my players. I don’t know this but it is not an issue for me I don’t have any problem with it.

"If calm means like at Chelsea that I was animated because I see something wrong and want to tell my players, then I am calm. This is the way I am. It means don’t protest with the officials but I don’t do that. I am too focused on my players.

"I will be calm and focused on my players and I will be exactly the same if I am at Chelsea, Accrington or Aldershot. When I see something that doesn’t go right for my players I will call their attention to it and the way to do that is not like an Oxford University student putting his hand up and saying "sorry, please can you come here" to get their attention. I call with my voice.

"We are talking about football and if you don’t get the right projection you cannot deliver your message. This is my way.

"Obviously if you are Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, you spend most of the game with your arms folded and relaxed but sometimes also he is red in the face and running round."

Have your say