A terrible result on Monday has been compounded by the news that Stephane Sessegnon will miss the rest of the season through suspension.
The red card he received in the midst of Monday night's dire reverse to Aston Villa looked harsh but it comes as no surprise to see the ban upheld. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud recently saw an appeal against a red card for a similar type of challenge during their match against Fulham turned down.
With Sunderland dragged right back into the relegation battle, it's to be hoped Di Canio can find a way to cope without the Benin international who had inspired back to back wins before the capitulation at Villa Park. Another three points is required to just about guarantee safety, although without the enigmatic Sessegnon, finding them is going to be a hell of a lot more difficult.