Sunderland manager David Moyes has stood by his harsh appraisal of his Sunderland side after their capitulation to Crystal Palace last weekend and said the club has to find a way of winning games.
After that match, he called on his players to take more responsibility after they let a two-goal lead slip and ended up losing 3-2 to leave them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table without a win this season.
Moyes said he did not intend to be overly critical, but he had no problem if that’s the way it was perceived ahead of Saturday’s home game with West Brom.
“It wasn’t generally meant to be a big criticism of the players, it was just meant to say ‘take responsibility’,” Moyes told a media conference.
“I’ve been a player, and I’d have hoped if the manager said to me to take responsibility in picking someone up or doing a specific job in the game, I would do that. I wouldn’t see that as criticism, I’d see that as being told to do the job right.
“Hopefully they realise they have to do that job. That’s what it was meant to be. But if it’s seen as criticism, I’ve got no problem with that at all. They have to start winning. I have to start finding a winning way, but they have to play their part.”
Sunderland go into the game with West Brom with a lengthy injury list, with Adnan Januzaj ruled out for six weeks, alongside Steven Pienaar, Lee Cattermole and Victor Anichebe.
“Januzaj is a blow because he did well and looked as if he was finding form. He’s a really creative player for us and we need it,” said Moyes.
Ahead of the fixture, West Brom boss Tony Pulis suggested that Moyes may have to adapt quickly to managing a side in a relegation dogfight.
The Sunderland manager appeared to agree with Pulis’ assessment.
“Sunderland, probably over the years have recently had to find a way of getting a result. Getting a result by hook or crook just now would be fine,” he added.
“I would like it to be good, exciting football, that’s what I would want it to be in the end, but along this long journey maybe we have to be a bit ugly until we get under way.”
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