Sunderland: O’Shea dismisses Di Canio rift

Sunderland defender John O’Shea

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Sunderland defender John O’Shea downplayed any talk of a rift between himself and manager Paolo Di Canio as Black Cats look to bounce back from a disappointing start to Premier League season.

The Republic of Ireland international was caught out in the game against Crystal Palace in their last outing and was shown a red card after giving away a penalty in a tackle which his manager described as ‘terrible’.

Passionate Italian Di Canio’s rant following the defeat at Selhurst Park has led many to believe the relationship between him and veteran defender O’Shea is fragile at best.

However the former Manchester United defender has insisted his partnership with the Black Cats boss is strong despite the incident.

“He rang me the next day and all is nice,” said O’Shea. “Getting criticised is one of those things and that is his style of management.

“What he had to say to me is private but let me put it to you this way, it was him calling me.

“The criticism does not bother me in the slightest. It is water off a duck’s back to someone like me.”

Following his suspension, O’Shea’s main focus will be to get Sunderland back to winning ways, as they currently sit in 19th place in the Premier League table with just one point from their first three games.

The Black Cats were one of the biggest movers in the summer transfer market with no less than 13 new players being brought to the north east outfit by Di Canio.

Things won’t get any easier for Sunderland as they face fourth-placed Arsenal in their next Premier League outing at the Stadium of Light on September 14.

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