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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Be a Sunderland hero, Rose urged

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has urged defender Danny Rose to finish his loan spell as a hero by helping to ensure the club's Premier League survival.

Rose, 22, has been a revelation on Wearside since joining from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. The terms of his loan deal mean he cannot face his parent club at White Hart Lane on the final day of the season, meaning his last game for the club will be at home to Southampton on Sunday.

Di Canio said he was hopeful "little Danny" could finish his season on a high as Sunderland look to secure the win they need to avoid relegation.

"I took Danny to one side the other day to speak to him about the Southampton game," he told the Sunderland Echo.

"I call him 'little Danny' because we have Danny Graham here too. So we have little Danny and big Danny, and I called little Danny over and told him he had to focus on giving us his very best performance.

"I said to him that I know he has to go back to his club, but first he must make sure he works as hard as he possibly can this Sunday to give us a great performance."

The Italian said Rose had had "a fantastic season... but only because of this club" and added that he wanted the defender to "leave with everyone saying what a great professional you are".

He said he was unwilling to give any thought to the possibility of a permanent move for Rose until the Black Cats had guaranteed their safety.

"I have not made any decisions over whether we will or will not pursue Danny, because we have not stayed up yet," he explained.

"I won't look at that side of things until our future is clearer. But he is a fantastic footballer for us, and we will have to see what happens in the future."

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