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Paolo still in mood for fight.

Byline: SIMON BIRD

PAOLO DI CANIO last night blasted back at Ireland boss Martin O'Neill.

The former Sunderland gaffers continued their war of words after O'Neill branded the Italian a "managerial charlatan" last weekend.

Di Canio claimed it is O'Neill who is the charlatan for spending PS40million and producing a relegation threatened team which the Italian then guided to safety.

Furious that O'Neill had taken a swipe at him, Di Canio said: "I don't know if he knows the meaning of this word charlatan. Probably I can teach him, even if I am not English.

"I respect the opinion of manager Martin O'Neill but the fact he spoke after six months, not straight away, that proves what kind of level he is. He is not very big.

"A charlatan is a manager who spends PS40m to be a top-10 club and then sees the club sink into the relegation zone.

"I had players who told me they had cramps from driving the car. I had three players with injuries in the calf after 20 minutes of a game. Six different players with problems means they were not fit."

On his rows with Phil Bardsley, Di Canio said: "At the beginning of the season, he was on Twitter celebrating the defeat of the club that pays him. A person at the club came to me and said, 'we want to fine him', and I agreed.

"He was celebrating, that is the worst treason for the people next to you. It is clear that he tried to destroy his career on his own."

And on striker Steven Fletcher's claim that Di Canio banned smiling and laughter, he said: "Fletcher was never happy when I said publicly that after four years in England his record was two relegations and twice 17th in the table.

"Maybe the players wanted a big screen with a comedy movie. When you have a training session you are there to improve. Maybe there is a moment when you have fun, and they probably had too much fun.

"I think my level was too high for this situation."

ENGLAND v CHILE MATCH REPORT page 52
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 16, 2013
Words:356
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