Sunderland AFC news: Pienaar wants to reward support, Gray wants Black Cats to stick with manager, Moyes takes heart from St Mary's draw

David Moyes.

David Moyes.

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Sunderland head to Southampton tonight with a place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals at stake.

And despite the Black Cats' struggles this season they are set to be backed be a remarkable 1,500 fans for the midweek trip to the south coast.

Wideman Steven Pienaar has been blown away by the club's support since signing earlier this year.

Tonight, he wants to make sure the players repay the punters' faith.

The South African said: "It’s about time we start paying them back."

Full story: Sunderland need to start rewarding their away support, says Pienaar
Meanwhile, Sunderland hero Michael Gray believes the club should stick with manager David Moyes - even if they are relegated this season.

The former defender says he can see shades of 2005-06 this campaign, but does not think getting rid of the Scot, who was only appointed in the summer, is necessarily the answer to the Black Cats' problems.

Full story: Sunderland should stick with Moyes even if they are relegated, says Micky Gray.
And ahead of this evening's last 16 encounter at St Mary's, Moyes believes his players can take confidence from the last time they met the Saints in the Premier League.

In August, Sunderland put in a spirited display, and having taken the lead through Jermain Defoe just 10 minutes from time, they were pegged back by Jay Rodriguez late on.

Moyes is taking heart from that performance and result.

He said: “We need to go there and take confidence from the first game, when we were four or five minutes away from winning.”

Full story: Southampton v Sunderland AFC: Black Cats must take heart from league game against Saints ahead of EFL Cup clash