Stephane Sessegnon has not been selected in the Sunderland squad for tomorrow’s Premier League match at Crystal Palace following his drink-driving charge.
But Paolo Di Canio insists he is open to handing second chances to any player showing genuine remorse following a breach of discipline.
Sessegnon was arrested on Newcastle’s Westgate Road on Tuesday night, at the same time the Black Cats were in Capital One Cup action against MK Dons at the Stadium of Light.
Northumbria Police charged the 29-year-old with drinking and driving, and he will appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on October 4.
Yet while Di Canio is known for being a strict disciplinarian, he refused to rule out a way back for the Benin international.
“It depends what they are doing and if they are genuinely sorry,” he said. “If you arrive a bit late and I fine you, if they become more professional afterwards, then that can be OK.
“But if you don’t even think you are wrong, you might say sorry but don’t mean it, then that is different. I can read my players and I know the ones who are genuinely sorry if they do something wrong. It is difficult to give a second chance to somebody who breaks my rules and thinks it is normal, because they will do it again.
“If a footballer says he is really sorry and you think he means it then, yes, there is a second chance. I will judge each case on its merits.”
Sessegnon has been the subject of speculation this summer linking him with a move away from Wearside.
Regardless of Tuesday’s indiscretion, that scenario could yet arise prior to the closure of the transfer window on Monday, but Di Canio remains guarded about the possibility of adding further to his squad.
“I can’t say anything new,” he said.
“We still have the same team but we do need something. I have always said that. I cannot say how close we are to new signings because it is not my department.
“There are others who know more than me and they are working. They know who I want. Nothing will be announced until it is definite.
“I still want a left-back, a central midfielder, but I would also like a striker, another winger...”
Laughing, Di Canio turned his attention to tomorrow’s game, for which he has no new injury problems, adding: “We know our league form has to be a lot better than last season.
“Our fans might be expecting us to win at Crystal Palace and so am I. It won’t be easy. We will got there to win.
“To do that we must think about those 75 minutes in the (Capital One) Cup when we did not do things right. If we play like that then we will not do it right again.”
An eventual 4-2 victory over MK Dons - having been 2-0 down with 12 minutes remaining - earned Sunderland a third-round home tie against League One side Peterborough United, to be played during the week beginning Monday, September 23.
Di Canio said: “To play at home is always good because of the fans, they are crucial, they were paramount.
“The cup is important and in my opinion we did very well in the end. Imagine away from home going 1-0, 2-0 down, it’s not easy to come back.
“Our approach (against Peterborough) will be important because if we think it will be easy, we will find it hard and that is not good in any way.
“It will be tough.”