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Sunderland midfielder Gardner: Di Canio critics holding grudge

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner has defended manager Paolo di Canio.

Critics have questioned if he can hack it in the top flight with so little managerial experience.

Gardner claimed: "A lot of the people who've been writing the manager off have got something against Paolo Di Canio.

"It's not just his management skills, there's always something to knock him about.

"Of course he's a Premier League manager - he's managing in the Premier League and he's trying to change things here.

"We've still got faith in him as a squad. The lads want to go out there and put in as much hard work as we can on the training pitch and go and get that first win that we want."

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