David Moyes' Sunderland future: What we know as manager looks set for long-term stay

Moyes still looks set for long Sunderland stay
Moyes still looks set for long Sunderland stay
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David Moyes' Sunderland future has been one of the big talking points of the international break.

The 0-0 draw with Burnley left relegation looking like a greater possibility than ever and many fans have been questioning the long-term direction of the club.

Within the club, however, there have been no indications of any changes anytime soon.

There is recognition that injuries have blighted the campaign, and that long-term financial mistakes in the transfer market have left him with an unbalanced and ill-equipped squad.

It is no real surprise, then, to see reports that the Scot has received another vote of confidence from Ellis Short.

So how will things develop, even if Sunderland are relegated?

A close partnership

There are many reasons why Moyes has not come under the same scrutiny as managers in previous seasons.

The appetite for more upheaval has gone, the club's financial predicament also a major factor in that.

What there is also at the club that there perhaps has not been in the past is a very close working relationship between the Chief Executive and the manager.

Martin Bain has been given a lot of responsibility to reshape the club by Ellis Short and David Moyes is an integral part of that.

Bain alluded to this when he spoke to the press in December.

He said: "In terms of my perspective going forward, I am thinking I am fortunate that we have a manager in David Moyes,

"David is a club man. He is somebody who is keen to understand and contribute to all aspects of the football club, from top to bottom, from a football perspective.

"That is fundamental for me, it is about stability right across the board. He has vast experience.

"His experience will lend itself to guiding me, lend itself to guiding others and when you are in a situation we are in as a football club, it is not all doom and gloom but yes we have a lot to do. Experience is invaluable and he has that in abundance."

Some Sunderland fans will disagree with the logic but Moyes' work at Preston and Everton is deemed more relevant by the hierarchy than what happened at Manchester United & Real Sociedad.

Bain is a powerful advocate for Moyes and probably the main reason his position remains secure.

Clearly, the game changer would be the sale of the club. At the moment, however, there is nothing in the pipeline and a recognition that rebuilding needs to be done before it becomes an attractive option to buyers.

What about Moyes himself?

Would Moyes drop down and manage in the Championship?

The answer is probably yes.

His reputation has been damaged by his recent managerial tenures and it is unlikely he would be able to get a Premier League job. Rebuilding Sunderland is important for his own standing. It is also likely the case that he sees his position, and the security he has, as a unique chance to shape the team without much interference. The finances are prohibitive but he will look to add younger players to complement those he has brought through this season.

The likes of Adam Webster at Ipswich Town, Sam Gallagher at Southampton, Jason Cummings at Hibernian have been linked and offer a sense of what may come.

Moyes can't offer much insight in terms of his future plans because Sunderland still have a plausible, if unlikely, chance of beating the drop.

One thing that will be monitored closely by onlookers over the summer is the Scotland job.

Moyes has admitted he would 'never say never', even though he is a strong and public backer of Gordon Strachan. Strachan remains under pressure and a bad loss to England in June on home turf would turn up the heat.

Sunderland's predicament has worsened recently but the long-term plan remains the same.

Unless there is a significant change of personell at the top of the club, the job will almost certainly remain Moyes'.