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Sunderland have signed Paolo Di Canio as their new manager
The Black Cats have secured the Italian’s services by penning a two-and-a-half year deal which is effective on Monday.
Team chairman Ellis Short said: “Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him. He is passionate, driven and raring to get started.
“The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status.
“I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us.”
Martin O’Neill was sacked on Saturday following a 1-0 home loss to Manchester United; ending his reign after taking over in December 2011.
“Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season,” Short said.
“They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve.
“That remains our primary aim.”
The 44-year-old has a relatively short managing resume as he has only coached Swindon Town – guiding them to a League Two title in 2011-12 before leaving due to off-field financial disagreements.
Sunderland currently have 31 points in the league and are only a point above the relegation zone.