Di Canio’s peace call to Sunderland captain O’Shea

Sunderland's John O'Shea.
Sunderland's John O'Shea.

JOHN O’Shea has revealed that Paolo Di Canio rang him to make peace after publicly criticising the Sunderland skipper in the wake of last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

The Republic of Ireland defender cost Sunderland dearly in the game at Selhurst Park when he conceded a penalty.

Red-carded for the offence, O’Shea saw the penalty converted and Palace go 2-1 up in what proved to be the pivotal moment of the game.

But it still raised eyebrows when Di Canio came out and publicly criticised his captain after the match.

“Terrible,” was the Sunderland head coach’s verdict on the captain’s mistake. “Absolutely poor, not acceptable.

“He has apologised after the game, but this is the second week in a row he has apologised for a mistake and he cannot keep doing it.”

It was hard-hitting stuff, but Di Canio made a point of ringing his captain to make sure there was no misunderstanding or risk of rift.

O’Shea, on Ireland duty ahead of tomorrow’s must-win World Cup qualifier in Austria, said: ‘He rang me the next day and all is nice.

“Getting criticised is one of those things and that is his style of management.

“What he had to say to me is private, but, let me put it to you this way, it was him calling me.”

And the 32-year-old centre-half, who begins his suspension for the dismissal against Arsenal this weekend, insists that there is not the slightest hint of any resentment on his part over Di Canio’s comments.

“The criticism does not bother me in the slightest,” he shrugged. “It is water off a duck’s back to someone like me.

“Because he is such a passionate man, everything he does is getting hyped up.

“The only thing I am annoyed about is the fact that I let the team down.

“We were getting back into the game so, you know, that was the frustrating part.”