David Moyes believes Sunderland have improved in recent weeks, as they wait on a first Premier League win of the season.
The Black Cats sit bottom of the table with just two points but, having been beaten by moments of individual brilliance at West Ham and Southampton in their last two matches, Moyes insisted the confidence of his players is growing.
Sunderland now host Arsenal on Saturday, and the former Manchester United boss claimed that, with the Stadium of Light behind them, his men can get a positive result.
“Our confidence is good and the players know they are doing better,” he told a pre-match news conference on Friday. “The results haven’t shown that, but the last two results could have been different.
“We want the fans in full voice, but what we do on the pitch will determine that, so we need to get them off their seats.”
Sunderland’s preparation for this fixture has not been ideal, though, with Moyes charged by the FA for comments made about the referee’s decision not to award a penalty at Southampton, and the travelling squad then being unable to fly home due to fog.
But Moyes brushed off any suggestion those factors could be used as an excuse against the Gunners.
“It wasn’t that big a problem and quite often teams stay down after games,” he said, “so we recovered there yesterday and it worked quite well.”
However, Moyes – who replaced Sam Allardyce in the off-season – knows Sunderland face a tough opponent in Arsenal, who are unbeaten in all competitions since the opening weekend of the season.
“Arsenal were strong last year, and they’ve been contenders for the Premier League for many years,” he added. “They are strong again this year.”
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