Wigan’s defeat to Arsenal in midweek means that there really is nothing riding on Sunday’s game at White Hart Lane – at least if you’re a Sunderland fan. However, after a difficult season at the Stadium of Light, the North East club have sent assurances that they will take this match perfectly seriously when kick off comes around.
New manager Paolo Di Canio has gone a stage further and issued a bizarre threat to his players ahead of the summer break.
“I told them we can win, draw or lose with dignity, respecting the club’s name and the fans. But if not, I will reduce their holiday,’ said the Italian after Premiership survival was assured.
Di Canio’s idiosyncratic style of management has yet to really take hold at his new club but anyone that has followed his reign at Swindon will realise that this is no idle threat. Whether it’s enough for Sunderland to get a positive result from a side pressing for fourth place remains to be seen.