Di Canio slams woeful Sunderland
By Football News
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has claimed his team's 6-1 thumping from Aston Villa may be the 'medicine' they need to avoid relegation.
While Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert labelled Christian Benteke 'world class' after the Belgian striker notched his first English Premier League hat-trick, Di Canio bemoaned Sunderland's lack of focus as they were dragged back into the relegation battle.
Villa's victory took them to 37 points, alongside Newcastle United and Sunderland with the three teams sitting above the drop zone, five points clear of 18th-placed Wigan.
Di Canio conceded after Monday's game that his players may have 'thought the main job was done'.
"Maybe this is a medicine in some way that can let us understand that we have to play with desire, commitment, otherwise we are going to have difficulty," Di Canio told Sky Sports.
"This humiliation can help the players, the manager, the staff.
"We need a minimum of another three points.
"We can do it but it was unacceptable the performance we made tonight.
"There was one team that played like it was the last chance of their life, which was Villa, and a team that was probably a little full in the stomach because of the last two wins in a row."
Villa will go close to securing Premier League football for next season if they beat 14th-placed Norwich City next week and Wigan fail to win away to West Bromwich Albion
"The way we played I thought we were outstanding right from the off," Lambert told the Daily Mirror.
"It was a high pressure game and the stadium was absolutely rocking.
"The way we have performed since the turn of the year we have been playing extremely well.
"They are getting better and better.
"It brings everyone back into it and pulls other back into it."
The 43-year-old Glasgow-born manager reserved special praise for Benteke, who took his season tally to 22 goals in all competitions after the treble against Sunderland.
"He (Benteke) was world-class, he is only 22 years of age and only came into this country at 21," Lambert said.
"For his second goal he jumped virtually the height of the crossbar, everyone can see his technique for a big lad is fabulous.
"He has a big career in front of him and can be anything he wants."