Defiant David Moyes says he won’t quit as Sunderland manager despite fans again turning on him in the 1-0 Tees-Wear derby defeat to Middlesbrough.
Defeat leaves Sunderland – 12 points adrift of safety with five games to go – on the brink of relegation to the Championship.
And the Black Cats could be relegated as early as Saturday if Hull City better Sunderland’s result.
But the under-fire Scot, who was subjected to loud chants of “We want Moyesy out” at the Riverside, says he will not stand down as Sunderland boss.
Fans had also jeered Moyes in the 2-2 draw with West Ham United but they were far more sustained in the dismal defeat to relegation rivals Middlesbrough, a first-half Marten de Roon goal proving the difference.
When asked about the chants against him, the Scot said: “When you’re manager and bottom of the league it’s expected but this is the first time it’s happened at any club I’ve been at.”
When pressed on whether he would stand down, the former Everton and Manchester United boss said: “No I’m here, I’m the manager and I take it on the chin.
“Nobody wants to win more than me, I’m used to winning and not used to losing – I don’t want to get used to it either.”
The Sunderland players were also criticised by the sold-out travelling support at the final whistle with chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt”.
Moyes defended the performance of his players, adding: “If they [the fans] think that, I wouldn’t have said that and would’ve supported the players tonight.
“They fought for the jersey tonight, every one – I can’t name one player who didn’t.”
Sunderland have five games to go this season with Bournemouth the visitors on Saturday before games against fourth-bottom Hull City away on May 6 and then a home game with Swansea City (May 13) before a difficult end to the season away to Arsenal and Chelsea in the space of five days.
Moyes said: “You need to win (to restore confidence), I’m a football supporter – you don’t want to see your team lose.
“We lost but there’s ways to lose and the players put in a performance that would’ve given us a chance to win other games.
“If we played like tonight in other games we’d have got more points.
“When people do 14 or 15 years in the Premier League and how their record stacks up, that’s how you judge people.”