PAOLO Di Canio says that his own iron-clad beliefs need no reinforcements, but he knows victories are needed for Sunderland’s players are to share that belief.
Sunderland’s head coach has not wavered for an instant in his view that he is putting the club on the right course for sustained success.
He believes his methods unquestionably work and that it is only a matter of time before they yield the right results.
But the Italian says he knows that others might not share his conviction, and, for that reason more than any other, he wants the early-season victory to boost confidence.
“When you win it gives you an extra lift and a positive energy,” Di Canio said in midweek. “I’m not worried about the criticism because I know I’m doing the correct thing and I know that if we don’t win right now, we will eventually.
“But you want a win for the sake of your players though, because not to win brings negative energy and the first-team players in particular need that win.”
Di Canio’s views on the subject are quite simple – the starting 11 are not only the best players on matchday but also the ones who have most bought into the head coach’s methodology.
And if that team is constantly losing, the top players will feel less confident endorsing the manager’s systems and standards to the rest of the squad.
“The players who play are the ones who are performing best, in order to get into the team,” he explained.
“And if they are losing they cannot feel so good about themselves and they can’t feel as though they are setting an example to the rest of the side.
“If the players who are being picked are winning games, it means that the players below them will work harder and train harder because they know they have to get to a higher level to be in the team.
“But if the first team is not winning, they do not feel as though they are setting an example to the rest, and the rest maybe feel they don’t have to work so hard on this poor run because their chances have improved.
“That is not what I want, and that’s one of the reasons why I want wins – this is the psychology of the group.
“This is why you need a win also – for the belief.”
Di Canio himself, however, is buoyed in part by previous experience.
“I had this for the first two months at Swindon where things weren’t going well, we lost four of the first five games, and the players thought that maybe the methods might not work,” he recalled.
“But they did.
“And the methods work at the top level as well as any level.
“At the moment, we are a team who want to win for confidence sake.
“When you play every game and you’re losing every game as a first-team player, you can’t impose your standards on the others because people are saying that you don’t win games yourselves.
“That’s one of the main reasons why a win is important.”