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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sunderland sack Paolo Di Canio

Sunderland have fired boss Paolo Di Canio five games into the Premier League season following Saturday's 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

Paolo Di Canio is confident his players will bounce back against Stoke on Monday
Paolo di Canio has been removed from his Sunderland post.

The club issued a statement on their official website, which read: "Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening.

"Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United, and an announcement about a permanent successor will be made in due course.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future."

Di Canio, 45, lasted less than six months at the Stadium of Light after agreeing to join the club on the March 31.

He replaced Martin O'Neill and faced a difficult beginning to his time on Wearside, with Sunderland deep in a relegation battle and only eight games remaining.

The Italian secured two wins and two draws from those games -- enough for the Black Cats to steer clear of relegation. But Saturday's loss meant Sunderland had earned just one point from the first six games of this season.

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