PAOLO Di Canio has questioned those who have suggested it is easy for Harry Redknapp to work for free at Bournemouth, stressing that his former manager’s offer to help out at Dean Court is testament to his love for both the game and his old club.
Redknapp assumed an advisory role to Bournemouth boss Paul Groves earlier this month and is set for a reunion with Di Canio at the County Ground this weekend.
The Italian was signed by the 65-year-old for West Ham back in 1999 and the two have gone on to become close friends over the years.
Di Canio evidently holds Redknapp in high regard and he scoffed at intimations that the ex-Tottenham chief was simply filling spare time by reporting for duty on the south coast.
“That shows straight away that he loves to be involved anyway and probably he did that for the friendships he’s got there because otherwise it is strange that a manager him has to work,” he told the Advertiser.
“When you work in this way it is serious, it is not something just to be involved by telephone.
“That proves what kind of person he is. Obviously he’s a rich man and everyone can say it is easy for him to be involved for nothing but it’s not easy because why (would he do it)?
“Even if he is a rich man he wants to do this for passion and help a club in League One and I have big respect for him.”
Di Canio believes that Redknapp has plenty of offer Bournemouth, most notably a wealth of experience of dealing with footballers on a man-to-man basis.
“It’s obvious that he can help,” he said. “The manager is the most important man because he’s got the players in front of him every day, he knows the players more than Redknapp.
“But for Redknapp, with his experience, it took an instant or maybe two training sessions to know the character of the players and perhaps give some advice to the manager.
“That is not something wrong if it happened. For sure he is going to be involved but not in the main decisions of the starting XI.
“But he is an extra help for the manager, perhaps something more when it is not clear for him. He can be an extra help for Bournemouth, I hope not for Saturday but after Saturday maybe they can start to work better together.”
The two have not talked in the build-up to this weekend’s game but Di Canio is looking forward to sharing a glass of wine with his old boss post-match on Saturday.
However, Swindon’s maverick Italian is predicting Redknapp’s plonk may not taste all that sweet.
“I haven’t had the chance to speak to him,” he said. “To be honest I don’t want to before the game because he’s an old fox and you never know, maybe one message he can send.
“Maybe he will say ‘Paolo, we changed three or four players’ and maybe it’s not true. No, I won’t fall in that trap.
“Maybe I will have and old reunion if he comes and then after the game I will offer him a good red wine which we will enjoy, but after we have got three points.
“He likes a good life, he appreciates Italian wines, French wines but at the end I will offer it to him so he can have a bitter taste after he loses the game.”
Swindon are at full strength for the clash but Bournemouth are set to be without Shaun MacDonald because of a calf injury.
Simon Francis, Harry Arter and Lee Barnard are struggling with knee knocks, while Marc Pugh and Richard Hughes could miss out through thigh problems.