David Moyes admits he is under pressure to reverse Sunderland’s fortunes, but claims it is no different at any other Premier League club.
Moyes succeeded Sam Allardyce at the Stadium of Light after the latter was appointed as England manager, but the former Manchester United boss has endured a miserable start to the campaign.
The Black Cats have failed to win any of their opening eight league games and are rooted to the foot of the table on two points, with a series of injuries to key players blighting their thin squad.
Speculation this week has even suggested that Allardyce, who left his role with the national team after being filmed allegedly offering advice on getting around transfer rules, could be brought back to the club to arrest their slump.
Moyes, however, says his time at Old Trafford showed him that there is a similar level of scrutiny on every manager in England’s top flight – including Pep Guardiola at leaders Manchester City.
“We’ve been close in some games, where we’ve been in front,” he said, speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham. “If you win one of those, it looks a lot different. But that’s our fault and we need to cure that.
“One win would make a massive difference, it would lift the confidence and give us an opportunity to start building.
“I spoke with a lot of supporters this week. I think they understand what’s required. The bigger pressure is from you boys [the media]. The supporters have been excellent.
“There’s pressure on every manager to get points, whether you’re Sunderland or you’re Pep at Man City. I’ve been at the other end, too – I know what it’s like.”
Chief executive Martin Bain backed Moyes as the right man to steer Sunderland to safety, though he suggested that the club needed to reclaim their “identity”.
Moyes agrees that more must be done to reach out to fans, but feels that persistent changes in manager have not helped Sunderland’s cause.
“We’re still trying to find our identity. Big Sam did a great job in keeping them up when they looked doomed, but everybody’s been fire-fighting,” he said.
“We need to show that we’re playing for the people in this area and engage with the supporters. But you have to remember that there have been half a dozen or so managers recently. It’ll take a bit of time.”
Moyes suggested that West Ham endured a similarly difficult spell before stabilising their fortunes in the top flight, which culminated in their move to London Stadium.
“It’s a fantastic stadium,” said Moyes. “You can talk about [Dimitri] Payet, [Michail] Antonio’s done well, and they’ve got a bit of heart with the likes of [Winston] Reid and [Mark] Noble.
“But prior to that, they were a bit inconsistent, they got relegated a couple of years before.”
Moyes revealed that Lamine Kone and Patrick van Aanholt have returned to training, while Sebastian Larsson, Adnan Januzaj and Jason Denayer are close to a comeback.
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