Sunderland boss David Moyes: We need something special to stay in the Premier League

THREE years ago, Gus Poyet spoke of Sunderland needing a miracle to beat the drop, then duly achieved one.


Posted Monday, March 20, 2017 by Express.co.uk

Sunderland boss David Moyes: We need something special to stay in the Premier League
David Moyes admits Sunderland need something special to stay up

But no one at the club can quite bring themselves to use the ‘M’ word now with the Black Cats in a similarly hopeless position at the foot of the table.

"We’re getting close to needing something special,” said David Moyes after his side’s fourth successive blank. “It’s been done here regularly so let’s hope.

"I’m not kidding anyone on – it’ll need some really big results. This was two points dropped.”

Midfield Jack Rodwell added: “Last season wasn’t necessarily a worse position but you look at those teams around us now and the difference is they are all picking up points.

"The likes of Palace and Leicester, there are too many points being collected here, there and everywhere and we need to collect them to stand a chance.”

So although they didn’t quite say it, the evidence is now conclusive – Sunderland need a miracle to stay up. But this time, they won’t get one.

Sunderland boss David Moyes: We need something special to stay in the Premier League
Sunderland stay up under Gus Poyet three years ago

Not because they’re not playing for the manager or because players have thrown in the towel. Sunderland will go down because they’re not good enough to win their latest survival battle.

As Rodwell said: “We’re running out of games. It doesn’t really come much easier fixture-wise than Burnley at home so we know it’s a missed opportunity.

"But that wasn’t the performance of a beaten team.”

He’s right. It wasn’t. It was the performance of an ordinary team who rely too heavily on Jermain Defoe for goals and when the recalled England international isn’t serviced, they’re powder puff.

Outplayed in the first half, Sunderland were half-decent after the break but when chances came along, they fell to Fabio Borini twice, Adnan Januzaj and Seb Larsson – with predictable results.

This isn’t just that time of year for miracles on Wearside but usually sackings too, and the presence of owner and chairman Ellis Short for only the second time this season set tongues wagging. But Short’s axe did not come with him.

Sunderland boss David Moyes: We need something special to stay in the Premier League
Sunderland could not find a way past Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton

He was talking of stability before kick-off and in the subsequent 90 minutes it’s doubtful he saw anything to suggest an eighth manager since November 2011 is the required medicine.

Perhaps he’ll take a leaf out of Burnley’s book. They went down, stuck with Sean Dyche and are now reaping the rewards back in the top flight.

Clarets midfielder Scott Arfield, the most creative player on the park, certainly thinks that’s the route to take in the event of relegation.

"They should stick with the manager 100 per cent,” said Arfield. “I really believe continuity is massive and Burnley are proof of that.

"When we went down, we were a united group, management and players, focussed to get back at the first attempt.

"Sunderland is a huge club but maybe we can act as an example to them.”

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