Premier League strugglers Sunderland AFC have appointed Paolo Di Canio as manager after parting ways with Martin O'Neill on Saturday.
O'Neill was dismissed in the wake of a 1-0 loss to Manchester United FC that left Sunderland 16th in the standings, a point above the relegation zone, and the club have acted quickly to bring in a replacement, offering Di Canio a two-and-a-half-year contract.
"Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him," commented Sunderland chairman Ellis Short. "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."
A former striker with the likes of S.S. Lazio, Juventus, AC Milan and West Ham United FC, the 44-year-old Italian's only previous coaching experience came at lower league Swindon Town FC, whom he left after less than two years in charge in February.
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