Sunderland boss Di Canio refuses to condemn Gardner after red card

Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio refused to condemn Craig Gardner after his dismissal in their draw with Stoke City.

Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio refused to condemn Craig Gardner after his dismissal in their draw with Stoke City.

Di Canio refused to be overly critical of his player but revealed he had no time to talk to him in the aftermath.

He said: "I love Craig because he has heart, passion, dedication. He is an amazing professional but now we have to be careful because there are two games to go and we do not have the time to recover from these mistakes.

"As I told you with Sessegnon, I don't want to speak about him because he is out.

"At half-time Craig was out and he can't play anymore. What am I going to tell him? There will be a moment but I had to be focused on my players and the players on the bench to see if I could change something.

"He was down, very sad and at the end of the game he said sorry. I'd like to see my players walk inside the dressing and not have to say sorry.

"It's another mistake and it can happen but we need to improve this."

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