Paolo Di Canio Slams 'Arrogant' Sunderland Players After Phil Bardsley Casino Antics

Paolo Di Canio tore into Phil Bardsley for his casino antics - but the Sunderland manager insisted the defender will be given a second chance at the club.

Bardsley and Matthew Kilgallon were both left out of Sunderland's squad for yesterday's 1-0 defeat at Tottenham after a picture of the pair at a casino on Tuesday night was published by The People newspaper.

The picture of Bardsley was particularly disappointing for Di Canio, and the Sunderland fans who struggle to cobble together enough money to watch their team play every week.

The former Manchester United man lay sprawled on the floor, covered in £50 notes. His actions earned him a fine and a telling off from his manager, who is determined to root out indiscipline at the Stadium of Light.

And Di Canio suggested such unprofessionalism is endemic among the Sunderland squad he has inherited and some players won't feature for him again.

"That is something really wrong. It’s disgusting me even to see the image for the club.

"It’s not about going out with your friend and getting back at two o’clock or three o’clock, which is late. You can close one eye. But not full of alcohol and walking like this. They have to behave well.

"There is no excuse to behave like he (Bardsley) did. From now I will be more strict because we have to improve our professionalism.

"In a week I have given seven players fines. It’s not acceptable. I thought at Swindon in League Two, arrogant, ignorant footballers in some way don’t know (the score) exactly because they’ve not had many chances at the top level.

"I have to tell you I have found a worse environment in terms of discipline at this club. Will they play again for the club? No. Not under me."

Bardsley has featured regularly for Di Canio since the Italian replaced Martin O'Neill as manager and he scored his first goal of the season last week against Southampton.

Di Canio admitted that he is willing to give the player another opportunity to prove himself at the club despite his actions.

"I will think really carefully. Always I give a second chance to the people," he said.

"He is not a kid, he has a family at home. I'm not here to be a priest."

Some Sunderland players had planned to go on holiday straight after yesterday's game, which the Black Cats lost 1-0 thanks to Gareth Bale's late winner, but Di Canio will not allow them to go on their annual leave until Tuesday.

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