David Moyes says that Sunderland will have to handle the pressure of playing at the Stadium of Light better if they are to thrive in the Championship next season.
The Black Cats boss insists that his side will win more games next year as he looks to add to a core of players who will remain on Wearside, but knows they must harness the passionate home support better than they have this season.
Sunderland have won just three league games at home this season, all within a six week period in the winter.
They did not win on home turf until November and have not won since the 1-0 victory over Watford on December 17th.
Fan confidence has understandably been drained, the last two home games played out in front of many empty seats. The Stadium has the potential to be a real asset for the side as they look to bounce back but Moyes knows it is not a certainty.
He said: “It could be, yes, but it could also be difficult if things are not going well.
“If you’re at a big club you have to be able to play on that stage.
“You have to be able to handle the pressure and play in front of the supporters.
“That’s been the problem this year. We have not been able to do it, and certainly not often enough at home.”
Moyes now faces a tall order to win back large sections of the Sunderland following, home and away, who have voiced their discontent in recent games.
The Black Cats boss has said that is all about winning games and again underlined the importance of summer recruitment to turn things around next season.
He said: “We need to get some new faces in during the summer and put together a team that supporters feel has a good chance of winning.
“We will, with our core group, win more games. There’s no doubt about that.
“But we have to make the right additions because we are going to be short of quite a few players.”