Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fighting Talk from Moyes as Wearsiders Face Up to Prolonged Pain; THE PREVIEW: Sunderland V Bournemouth 3pm, Stadium of Light Relegation May Be a Relief When It Comes, but It Is Unlikely to Mean the End of Sunderland's Troubles, Writes Stuart Rayner

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fighting Talk from Moyes as Wearsiders Face Up to Prolonged Pain; THE PREVIEW: Sunderland V Bournemouth 3pm, Stadium of Light Relegation May Be a Relief When It Comes, but It Is Unlikely to Mean the End of Sunderland's Troubles, Writes Stuart Rayner

Article excerpt

DAVID Moyes is hurting. Sunderland are hurting. The pain is not about to stop any time soon.

Today could be the day the Black Cats are relegated. If - and with their away record it is a big "if" - Hull City can better Sunderland's result at home to Bournemouth, the mathematicians will be able to confirm the inevitable.

Whenever it comes, it will probably be something of a relief to supporters worn down by relegation battle after relegation battle. Apathy has been the over-riding emotion, but at Middlesbrough on Wednesday it turned to anger.

But it will be no more than a breather on the long slog ahead.

"It is not something that can be fixed overnight," chairman/owner Ellis Short commented with the announcement of the financial results.

He is not kidding. Net debt was down but still PS110.4m and, parachute payment or not, the club is about to hurtle down a massive drop in income when they swap the Premier League patches on their sleeves for Football League logos. They lost PS33m last season.

Despite a huge squad revamp on the horizon, Moyes is talking about the way Sunderland finishing this season having an impact on the next. Considering they have only won once this year, and have failed to score in eight of their last nine winless games, it is a worrying thought.

Even as he cast doubt for the first time over whether he will be around to see next season, Moyes' mood was one of belligerence. Asked if it would be better for Sunderland to be put out of their misery, he is not playing ball.

"No, I don't want misery at all," he says, as if that was an option. "I want to fight to the end but I'm not stupid.

"It has been 10 long months and come the end of it I think everyone is pleased (for the season to end) but I need to gain momentum and win some games before then.

"We don't want to go down but we also want to build momentum, get a win and finish the season as well as possible.

"That is my aim at the moment. I think it could have a bearing (on next season). I think it is really important that we see the players who are playing are here and not elsewhere (mentally). I am seeing that in all the games."

Having bitten their tongues so long, the fans have turned on Moyes in the last two games.

"It hurts me," he says of Sunderland's plight.

"Totally. I am not smiling and laughing and enjoying myself. You want to have a winning feeling. Maybe we have forgotten how to do that. We have forgotten how to win and we have to get it back quickly.

"Supporters are entitled to their frustrations. Frustrations have been here for four to five years, the manager takes the brunt of that.

"I have been subjected to other chants, don't worry about that, but from your own supporters? "I totally understand the supporters' frustrations though. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.