Manager David Moyes on the ‘massive’ challenge facing him at Sunderland

Sunderland boss David Moyes
Sunderland boss David Moyes

David Moyes is facing one of the biggest challenges of his career to turn around the fortunes of Sunderland this season.

The 53-year-old Scot has a wealth of experience after starting his managerial career with Preston North End followed by 11 years with Everton and then less successful spells at Manchester United and Real Sociedad.

His Sunderland side are without a win in nine Premier League matches this season.

Defeat against Arsenal this lunchtime would see them equal Manchester City’s record low points haul of just two after 10 Premier League games.

Moyes admits it is a “massive challenge” facing him but says he has experience to deal with it.

“It is a massive challenge,” said Moyes.

“Every challenge is different, so it would be difficult to say where it ranked. Every club, whether it is a period at Everton or Manchester United, when you are in the middle of it, the challenges all feel the biggest.

“This one at the moment feels the biggest, that is for sure.”

Sunderland’s winless run was extended to nine games at West Ham United last weekend, with defender Winston Reid popping up with a 94th minute winner.

“It is difficult,” added Moyes, when asked whether the run was preying on the mind’s of his players. “We want to get the wins to get us started but the players are aware of that as much as I am.

“I have tried to tell them there have been some good things in the past few games.

“We are not kidding each other, though.

“This is a really difficult game against Arsenal.”

Moyes was brought in to oversee a long-term rebuilding project and his position is not under threat, with little appetite from above to make another managerial change.

He signed a four-year deal in the summer when he replaced former manager Sam Allardyce and he still has the support of owner Ellis Short.

Moyes admits he had hoped his Sunderland side would have picked up a win before today’s game against title-chasing Arsenal, who are second in the league.

He added: “We need to try and get some opportunities ourselves too and cause them some problems too.

“It is easier said than done.

“You are playing against a level of team that are above us.

“You’d hoped to have got a win from somewhere before it got to Arsenal, but this is a game where most people would think it was a difficult game for us whether we were sitting mid-table or bottom.”