What Sunderland boss David Moyes thought of Wahbi Khazri’s return to side

West Brom keeper Ben Foster denies Wahbi Khazri. Picture by Frank Reid
West Brom keeper Ben Foster denies Wahbi Khazri. Picture by Frank Reid
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Wahbi Khazri has won praise from Sunderland manager David Moyes after the winger made his first league start under him.

Khazri had become something of an outcast this campaign, with Moyes opting to name the Tunisian international on the Black Cats’ bench.

But the injuries to Steven Pienaar and Adnan Januzaj, with the Manchester United loanee set to be out for at least six weeks, opened the door for a return against West Brom.

Khazri started out wide but ended the game in the number 10 role behind striker Jermain Defoe after a tactical tweak by Moyes, with Sunderland trailing to Nacer Chadli’s first-half opener.

Patrick van Aanholt’s late goal rescued a point and Moyes was pleased with Khazri’s overall display – with his set piece delivery a key weapon. “I thought he did better, he looked in better shape,” said Moyes.

“We changed him from the left to the right, because we had a couple of problems with them getting forward down the left in the early part of the game.

“We had to bring him across and we wanted to make sure we weren’t going to get exposed. He’s got the ability on the ball and I thought he kept the ball better.

“He gave it away on a couple of occasions, which was unnecessary, but all round he played better and his deliveries were better, but we can’t just be playing someone for their deliveries.

“We need people to be part of it, but I think his contribution was better – he just ran out of steam in the last part of the game really.

“We changed to three at the back because we were chasing a goal, but we had given him (Khazri) a bit of freedom in the first half.

“We were happy for him to go forward and join the attack, it was about getting the balance right.”