Wahbi Khazri and David Moyes reflect on winger's man of the match display for Sunderland

0
Have your say

David Moyes has praised the impact made by Wahbi Khazri on his first start for Sunderland in almost six months.

The Tunisian winger was in from the cold for the game with West Ham United, his first start since October 29, and scored a stunning equaliser straight from a corner to cancel out Andre Ayew's early opener.

Wahbi Khazri in action. Picture by Frank Reid

Wahbi Khazri in action. Picture by Frank Reid

Khazri was a constant thorn in the side of the Hammers defence, constantly probing their back line and was Sunderland's stand-out performer.

James Collins headed Slaven Bilic's side back in front within two minutes of the second half before sub Fabio Borini equalised in the closing stages of the game to salvage a point.

When asked about Khazri's man of the match display, Moyes said: "I thought Wahbi played well today.

"He played in a role which kept him a bit more disciplined and he kept the ball well for us.

"He scored a really good goal from a corner kick, I was pleased with him. He was good."

Khazri - one of the key players in last season's successful survival fight - has had to make do with a place among the substitutes for much of the season despite Sunderland's struggles, much to the frustration of supporters.

Moyes has favoured on loan Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj and Borini to the winger this season.

When asked why Khazri hadn't had a look in much this season, Moyes added: "I can only tell you my choice has been to play other people because of what I have seen and I have chosen to do that."

The 2-2 draw did little to boost survival hopes, despite chipping a point of the gap to safety with Sunderland now nine points from safety with six games to play.

Khazri, meanwhile, says the players must continue to give 100 per cent in every game and fight to the bitter end.

"I’m happy [with the goal] and happy because for eight months I have not played very much," said Khazri.

"I need to help the team and I will put in 100 per cent. That is my job.

"I like this team, I like this club, I like these fans, they are unbelievable, and we have to fight to the end.

"We have to respect the club, the team, the fans - we need to give 100 per cent."

It was an action packed encounter at the Stadium of Light, with Moyes coming under fire from increasingly frustrated supporters and the Hammers having defender Sam Byram sent off

late on.

Khazri added: "It was a good game. I thought we could win the game but West Ham are not a bad team, they are a good team with good players.

"It is not a good result, but not a bad result either.

"Hull City lost their game. We have a nine point deficit on Swansea City, we have Middlesbrough next, and if we win that we could reduce it to six points.

"We need to keep the faith and fight for all 38 games."