Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has warned Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio that he will regret taunting their fans when the two teams meet on Monday.
Sunderland will travel to Villa Park for the relegation battle knowing defeat will drop them into deeper trouble at the bottom end of the Premier League table.
Di Canio has guided Sunderland to victories in their last two games since taking over from Martin O’Neill, including a 3-0 win in the derby match with Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena.
And after Di Canio implied that Villa would be relegated when they beat his former side Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup in November, Vlaar now wants payback on the new Black Cats boss.
He told reporters: “The fans do not forget it [Di Canio taunting Villa fans] and yeah, that could be in our favour. Di Canio is really enthusiastic.
“But I think with the fans behind us, it’s going to be a great game. There is some new spirit in the team there and they won the last two games with good results.
“They come to Villa Park now but we definitely want to win.”