Do marooned Sunderland need a miracle to stay up? David Moyes reacts to Watford defeat

Sunderland look like they will need a miracle to stay up this season after defeat to Watford left them marooned at the bottom of the Premier League.

Saturday, 1st April 2017, 5:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 9:30 pm
Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by Watford. Picture by Frank Reid.

It has heaped further pressure on David Moyes but he remains confident Sunderland can stay up this season despite their perilous position.

Victories elsewhere for relegation rivals Crystal Palace, Hull City and Leicester City ensured it was a dismal day at Vicarage Road for the Black Cats.

Miguel Britos scored the winning goal - a free header at the back post after Sunderland switched off from a corner in the 59th minute.

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Sunderland couldn't find a way back into the game, with Heurelho Gomes not tested enough in the Watford goal.

Defeat leaves Sunderland seven points adrift of safety with just nine games of the season to play ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Leicester City.

When asked whether Sunderland needed a miracle to survive, Moyes said: "We need to win games.

"I don’t know about miracles, but we know they do happen, and they’ve happened a couple of times at Sunderland recently.

"We needed to take something from the game today, and I thought overall we deserved to do that.

"I actually thought we played a lot better late on, when we trying to get forward a bit more.

"I think that was partly because Watford were desperate for the result and were hanging on a bit late on.

"I was more disappointed with the start of the second half because I thought Watford gained a little bit of momentum and we weren’t really able to stop that at that period.

"I’m sure the club have been here before. I’ve not been here before – it’s new to me – but hopefully the people at the club know exactly what it’s like.

"In one of the seasons, they were seven points behind with six games to go, and stayed up.

"I think if you can do it from that position, you can do it from any. We’ll keep going, and we’ll keep trying to pick up the points.

"It’s new to me, but I don’t want to have teams at the bottom of the league. I don’t want to be at this position where we’re losing.

"I don’t actually think today we deserved to lose the game. If it had been a point apiece, I don’t think you could have argued."

Moyes, heavily criticised for naming Didier Ndong and Wahbi Khazri on the bench, defended his players and said they showed a "big heart" despite the defeat.

"I thought the players showed a big heart, big commitment and kept going at it right til the end.

"We tried to find a way of scoring but it's been a problem for us recently.

"I don't think we necessarily deserved to lose the game, I think we deserved to get something out of it."

When asked if he was confident Sunderland could stay up, he said: "Yes. Results haven't gone for us but while it's there we are going to have to keep going."