Paolo Di Canio insists he will not accept the recognition as a hero at Sunderland until he has delivered the Black Cats a trophy.
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The Italian received significant praise from Sunderland fans following last weekend's 3-0 derby win over Newcastle, which leaves his side with a strong chance of survival.
But Di Canio believes he is not worthy of hero status simply by avoiding relegation, setting high standards for his time in charge at the Stadium of Light.
"I don't want to be a hero now or when we stay up. It is not the right time," the Sunderland boss said, according to the Sun. "If we stay up it will be a fantastic step towards a good future but you cannot be a hero after one, two or 20 games. I don't even want to be a hero next year.
"But in 10 years if I became the best manager in this club's history they can call me a hero. When I deliver a trophy it will be a special thing."
Sunderland host Everton on Sunday, with anything other than a win keeping them in the relegation battle.
While last weekend's win provided a significant boost for the Black Cats, Di Canio believes that will not be repeated over the remainder of the season as grinding out results becomes a focus.
"We have to remember we are not Barcelona, we are still Sunderland," Di Canio said. "We know we are still in a difficult situation and people must not expect us to win 3-0 every game - 1-0 is enough.
"I was worried as I don't know the players and how they will react. A win like that can be a poison. But when we started training again I could see they players were focused so I was very happy."