Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji will get better, says David Moyes

Papy Djilobodji gets the better of Harry Kane at White Hart  Lane. Picture by FRANK REID
Papy Djilobodji gets the better of Harry Kane at White Hart Lane. Picture by FRANK REID
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David Moyes insists Papy Djilobodji will “get better” and is convinced he has “good raw material” to work with.

The boss sang the praises of the defender ahead of Sunderland’s EFL Cup tie at QPR (7.45pm kick-off).

Of course we want to improve and of course Papy wants to improve and I have to see that in him


Djilobodji’s previous excursion to the capital had an unhappy ending on Sunday when he fluffed a clearance to present a goal on a plate for Harry Kane, who duly tucked in to score the winner in Tottenham’s 1-0 victory.

Otherwise, the 27-year-old performed with credit at White Hart Lane, though Moyes is aware that the Black Cats can’t afford any more repeat mistakes.

“We can’t keep leaking goals,”admitted the manager. “What I will say about Papy is that he is aware of a couple of mistakes he has made.

“He’s watched the clips on the video and we’ve looked at what he should have done better and how he should have dealt with things.

“He’s accepting that. We’re on the pitch with him trying to make things better.

“It would be worse if it was someone saying ‘no, I’m not making any mistakes, I’m doing fine’.

“But he’s accepted it and he understands it.

“When you have people who accept they’ve made mistakes, there is every chance of making them better.

“I think Papy will get better and I have to say he has not played that badly, it’s been more about lapses in concentration in games.”

Moyes says the attitude and honesty displayed by Djilobodji are great traits, but added that his ability as a footballer is the key to him being a success at the Stadium of Light.

“Of course we want to improve and, of course, Papy wants to improve and I have to see that in him,” said the Scot.

“He has to show me that he is improving because obviously we can’t continue to concede goals.

“Papy has an awful lot of good attributes – he is naturally left-footed, he’s good on the ball and gives us a little bit of composure so we can play from the back.

“He is a good passer, he’s very good in the air so there is certainly some good raw material to work with.”

Indeed, there was much to admire in the performance of the £8million summer signing from Chelsea.

Sunderland’s defence were kept busy, extremely busy, as they fended off wave after wave of Spurs attacks.

Djilobodji, allied with Lamine Kone, fought hard against one of the Premier League’s most dangerous front lines.

Moyes is looking to see Sunderland get on the front foot in games to ease the “pressure” on his defenders.

And that process could start tonight at QPR ahead of Saturday’s vital Premier League visit of Crystal Palace.

“You have to remember, in truth, we’ve been under pressure in some of the games for 90 minutes,” he said.

“If you are a defender and you are under that level of pressure there is a chance you are going to make mistakes

“We have to try to take that level of pressure away from the defenders, so they are not getting completely bombarded.

“That is one of the things we have been talking about as a team, become more aggressive ourselves, instead of sitting and taking all the bullets.”

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