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It's Time To Love Di Canio!
Stan Collymore offers his backing for Sunderland's controversial new manager, saying: "I think Sunderland players are going to love him".
Stan Collymore: "Let's judge Di Canio as a manager, because I think Sunderland players are going to love him "Yes, while the rest of the country was dredging up incidents from the past and questioning his political views I was excited about welcoming him back to the biggest league in the world.
"We are going to see passion. We are going to hear him ranting and raving over decisions. We are going to see him fight tooth and nail to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.
"It is going to be fascinating as the hot-headed Italian gets stuck in to prove himself as a top boss.
"But, apparently, the only thing anyone wants to talk about is whether he has pro-fascist beliefs. And I refuse to jump on the bandwagon.
"In my view there is not a chance Di Canio could have enjoyed the career he had in this country - alongside men from all different walks of life - if he had heartfelt fascist views. They would have been exposed long ago.
"From 1997 until 2004 he ran out over 200 times for Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton. He was temperamental and controversial at times, but if he held offensive political views they would have surfaced at some point during that period.
"And where was all this outrage when he was working at Swindon?
"This man grew up in Rome and certain feelings would have been held by many people around him. At Lazio he would have had contact with some unsavoury people.
"Yes, we all know about the salute, but as long as Di Canio is not going around intimidating people I have no problem with him.
"I bumped into him in a restaurant in Hamburg before Fulham's Europa League Final a few years ago and he gave me a hug and posed for a photo with my producer from Channel 5.
"When it comes to anti-racism, nobody campaigns harder than me. I am always speaking out and exposing people who I think are out of order.
"But from my own experience with Di Canio, I like him.
"Sunderland now have a man in charge who will give everything to make sure they do not go down."
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