Clear-the-air-talks prove the Sunderland squad cares, says David Moyes

Sunderland captain John O'Shea's influence is appreciated by manager David Moyes
Sunderland captain John O'Shea's influence is appreciated by manager David Moyes
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The decision by the Sunderland squad to hold clear-the-air talks proves they care about the club’s perilous position.

That’s the view of manager David Moyes, who wasn’t involved in the showdown talks.

The squad took the decision to speak amongst themselves in the wake of last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium.

Moyes, who has a wealth of Premier League experience after 11 years with Everton and his unsuccessful stint at Manchester United, insists he can handle the pressure.

And he was pleased to see the squad show the initiative to thrash out their views on the desperate start to the season, which sees Sunderland rooted to the foot of the league.

“For any team or club, they need the players to take their own responsibility,” said Moyes.

“John O’Shea is great in the dressing room and keeps them in line and of course we have a lot of new players this year.

“We have to sort the situation out, though, and it is good when you know that the players are thinking about it as well.

“That shows they care about the situation.”

Moyes added: “I wasn’t in the meeting, I left it to the players. I think you want them to stand up and be counted.

“All you can ever ask is for someone to do their best, if they are all doing their best then it tells you we are going to have to do something about it.

“If some of them are not at their best, then they need to find a way of doing that.”

Moyes insists the level of pressure facing manager’s in the top flight is the same, whether the team is at the bottom or top of the table.

He insists he is up to the challenge of turning around Sunderland’s fortunes ahead of today’s trip to West Ham United.

Eight games in, Sunderland are without a league win and the Black Cats must avoid defeat to avoid the worst start to a Premier League season by any club this century.

Not since Sheffield Wednesday in 1999 has a club recorded two points or fewer in their opening nine games of a top-flight campaign.

“I think I am,” said Moyes when asked if he felt he was in a better position to deal with the pressure given his experience.

“But whether you are at the top of the Premier League or bottom, you have the same level of pressure.

“You lose two games at the top of the Premier League and folk say you are in trouble. At the bottom, it is the same.

“I don’t think there is anything different for anybody else in the Premier League.

“All the managers have to take their medicine – or poison I should say!”

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