Former Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has branded his sacked successor Paolo di Canio a "managerial charlatan" in response to the Italian's criticism of his tenure at the English Premier League side.
O'Neill, recently appointed Ireland's new manager, was sacked by Sunderland in March after a 16-month spell in charge and replaced by the controversial Di Canio, who helped them avoid relegation.
The Italian bemoaned a lack of fitness in the squad and brought in 12 new players during the close season, but he was dismissed in September after a total of three wins from 13 games in charge and with the club rooted to the bottom of the table.
When asked if he was disappointed by Di Canio's comments, the former Celtic and Aston Villa manager did not hold back.
"Paolo di Canio? That managerial charlatan - absolutely, yes," the 61-year-old said. "Paolo stepped in there and basically, as weeks ran on, he ran out of excuses. I had a wry smile to myself."
Di Canio's replacement at Sunderland, Uruguayan Gus Poyet, has enjoyed a bright start in charge and helped the Black Cats to a surprise 1-0 win over big-spending Manchester City on Sunday.
However, they still sit in 19th place out of 20 teams.