The Sunderland squad today flew to New York for a four-night team-bonding break – and manager David Moyes stands by his decision to make the trip.
Sunderland were thrashed 4-0 by Southampton at the Stadium of Light ahead of a fortnight’s break in the fixtures as a result of the club being dumped out of the FA Cup.
News of their four-night trip to the Big Apple broke after last week’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and Moyes stood by the plans in the wake of the heavy defeat to Saints.
The squad will be doing fitness work over in New York, while they will also be taking in sight-seeing trips – and Moyes is hoping it has a positive affect on the club’s survival hopes.
When asked about this week in the aftermath of the Saints defeat, Moyes said: “It doesn’t change anything.
“As a manager, you make decisions, you try and lead your team and football club and do the right things.
“You have to stand by the decisions. It won’t change [our plans]. Sometimes things like that help.”
When it was put to him that fans will say the players don’t deserve it after the humiliating defeat to Southampton, Moyes added: “Managers have to make decisions, prepare teams and lead.
“That’s part of doing the job. Sometimes doing something different helps.
“We’ve a really tough game, our next game. It didn’t matter what we were doing, training or going away, we’ve got a really tough game (at Everton on February 25) next .”
Moyes was deeply disappointed by his side’s lacklustre showing against Southampton, with Sunderland trailing 2-0 at half-time to a Manolo Gabbiadini double.
Moyes added: “This was a big opportunity for us.
“My biggest disappointment is there was an opportunity here to get out of the bottom three and build on great results against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, a chance to build on that. Southampton crept back into the game and got the goals when they did.”