Chris Young: David Moyes era at Sunderland will really begin after France trip

David Moyes arrives at Rotherham
David Moyes arrives at Rotherham
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It was a nice touch from David Moyes to head down to the pitch before the final whistle sounded, just so he could salute the 3,000 Sunderland fans who travelled to South Yorkshire.

The bond forged between manager and crowd was instantly sealed with a clenched first and thumbs-up to the away end.

Sam Allardyce's failure to do likewise and salute supporters at Hartlepool United last week may well be one of those things that he regrets from his Sunderland spell, particularly when the FA's pursuit had left a sour taste.

Bathed in south Yorkshire sunshine, Moyes looked genuinely delighted to be back in the managerial hot-seat after an eight-month hiatus. That's more than sufficient to recharge the batteries and restore the hunger to compete at the highest level.

Just as Sam Allardyce appeared an ideal fit for Sunderland last October, so too does Moyes at the Stadium of Light now.

The parallels between Sunderland and Everton are clear - budgets, fanbases and underachievement (prior to Moyes' arrival at Goodison Park). There will be spades of good-will towards the Scot too, rather than the constant scrutiny he encountered in that impossible job at Manchester United.

Moyes' first gig as a Sunderland employee was a comfortable way to ease himself back into management.

He delegated team affairs to Robbie Stockdale and Paul Bracewell, and won't have particularly learned anything earth-shattering from the 2-1 win at the New York Stadium.

As at Hartlepool, Sunderland again looked sharp going forwards, while match-winner Charles N'Zogbia was far more involved than he had been in the pre-season opener.

Moyes has only three weeks to prepare before the start of the season, but at least Sunderland's players are in shape.

But it will be the next seven days on the banks of Lake Geneva where Moyes will get a thorough education.

The opportunity to watch and listen to both players and backroom staff in an isolated environment will inform him over what Sunderland require over the next three weeks to avoid yet another relegation battle.

Then the Moyes era will really begin.