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Capello unsurprised by Di Canio axe

Former England coach Fabio Capello has said he is not surprised by Sunderland's decision to fire boss Paolo Di Canio.

• Randall: Di Canio pays the price
• Kilbane: Di Canio never long-term fit
• Bruce questions Di Canio approach

Speaking to Italy's Fox Sports, Capello said his compatriot's spell with the Black Cats may have started well but he had felt it was always destined to fail because of the former Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United, Charlton Athletic and Lazio player's approach.

"His experience on the Sunderland bench started well with the derby win [away to Newcastle], but then he lost his way," the 67-year-old said.

"I think the relationship with the players is fundamental, because the players judge you all the time and the Sunderland players have affirmed that Di Canio had a dictatorial attitude towards them.

"I think that was the problem. As a player, Di Canio was a good footballer but not a lionheart, which is something he now has as a coach."

Capello, currently at the helm of the Russia national team, said he would like to see another Italian restore harmony in the Sunderland dressing room, citing ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo as a potential successor and saying he would be "well suited to the role".

Capello, who guided Roma to the 2001 Serie A title, praised the club's current coach Rudi Garcia, saying he believed he had a good chance of replicating his success.

Garcia, who has won four league games out of four this season, has said he is targeting a return to Europe.

"Garcia may have a weaker side on paper compared to recent seasons, but he's doing a great job," Capello said. "He's managed to give the team a sense of pride. All of the players now help each other on the field."

That includes Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi -- even if Capello would have advised the latter to leave the club this summer.

"If I were De Rossi, I would have gone to Manchester United to join a club where the ambitions are very high," he said. "A few months ago, [David] Moyes asked me my opinion on him, and it could not have been anything but positive."

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