Victor Anichebe is determined to repay David Moyes’ faith after playing through the pain barrier to help Sunderland win for the first time this season.
Anichebe cracked a rib in the first half but went on to produce a man-of-the-match display, scoring and grabbing an assist in the crucial 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Victory ended a run of 10 games without a top-flight win, the worst ever start to a league campaign in the club’s history.
Anichebe – who played alongside Jermain Defoe on his full debut – was delighted to get off the mark and help his former Everton boss Moyes to a first Sunderland league win.
“It is a thank you to David Moyes,” said Anichebe, who was signed on a free after deadline day.
“The manager has always shown faith in me. I have known him since I was 14, or something.
“I was set to go abroad after last season.
“I saw my contract out at West Brom, and thought I wanted to go abroad.
“Then the manager got the job at Sunderland. I always wanted to work under him again.
“If he hadn’t left Everton, I probably wouldn’t have left.
“It is a pleasure to work under him.
“He has shown faith in me and worked me hard to get back. Hopefully I can continue to repay him.
“Just doing it once isn’t enough for the faith he has put in me. Hopefully I can keep repaying him.
“He has brought a lot of people in and hopefully we can repay that faith.”
Dan Gosling gave the Cherries an early lead, but Sunderland equalised through Anichebe’s powerful close-range strike into the roof of the net.
Striker partner Jermain Defoe played in a low ball to Anichebe, who had his back to goal.
He held off Cherries skipper Simon Francis, before turning and shooting high past Artur Boruc.
“If anyone knows me from the start of my career, they will know how good I am at doing that,” added Anichebe.
“If you get the ball into my feet in the box, I can spin both ways and hopefully create something.
“JD is smart in that way. JD, because of his experience and quality, spotted that quickly. I repaid him when he got the penalty and he put that away.
“I worked on it during the week. Hopefully, now I can keep doing that and add other bits into my game and help the team, stay injury-free and carry on.”
Anichebe was clearly in pain early on, but, after being patched-up was able to carry on, the striker revealed a huge patch on his side after he threw his shirt into the crowd at full-time.
He added: “Credit to the doctor, he gave me something to numb the pain and helped me through.
“The fans too, they pushed me from start to finish. It was just a drive and determination that the whole team had.
“We didn’t want to have any excuses. We knew how important it was. From the first to the last, you could see how much it meant to us.”