Lee Cattermole says Wahbi Khazri has proven his commitment to Sunderland and the battle against relegation.
Khazri made his long awaited return to the starting XI in the 2-2 draw against West Ham United last Saturday, delivering a virtuoso performance as the Black Cats finally ended their 11 hour goal drought.
The Tunisian scored direct from a corner and created a plethora of chances for his team-mates as he drove infield from the right flank.
David Moyes has come under fire for not selecting the 26-year-old earlier, but Cattermole has revealed the Black Cats boss was full of praise for his showing.
Cattermole added that he and his team-mates were thrilled to have him back in action.
He said: “It was great to see Wahbi out there, the manager was first to congratulate him on his performance as well which was nice.
“It was great to have him out there, he gives you a bit of energy, the ability to take the ball, pass it and follow it, he’s a great lad, he’s lively and what you want on the pitch with you.
“It has been difficult for him of late for one reason or another, but he’s shown how much he wants to play for the club.
“A couple of the lads coming into the team, it was nice for myself to play with Gibbo for the first time, Wahbi coming in, Javier as well, it is good for them and it is good for the morale as well.”
Khazri himself has praised the Sunderland faithful, who roared his return to the side and gave him a stirring ovation at every opportunity.
He told safc.com: “I like this team and I like this club – the fans are unbelievable – so we need to fight and give 100%.
“It was a good game [on Saturday] and West Ham are not a bad team, they have some good players so it wasn’t a bad result, but it also wasn’t a good one.
“We are nine points behind Hull City and if we win at Middlesbrough we can cut that gap to six, so we need to keep the faith and fight for all 38 games.”