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Sunderland boss Di Canio raps Wickham: Forget tiny t-shirts and focus on football

Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio is demanding more from Connor Wickham.

Di Canio believes Wickham needs a slap in the face to motivate him to reach his full potential.

"Maybe, with this guy, I have to slap his face a little bit," Di Canio said.

"I'm talking about motivating him in a genuine way because he has so much potential. But sometimes he comes in (to training) and he seems to be looking around saying: 'Where am I?' I want to say: 'You are on the football pitch, with the grass.'

"He is an intelligent guy, but once he seemed to be complaining because it was wet. I told him that is typical for this area. Maybe if he doesn't go out in a small t-shirt when it is wet and cold, he won't be complaining. I have told him: 'No small t-shirts.'"

Di Canio has urged him to concentrate on football if he wants to live up to the reputation he brought to the club.

The 44-year-old added: "I don't want him to be missing a couple of games because he is a Playboy model. We are footballers, that is our job."

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