Sunderland boss David Moyes won’t put survival bid at risk

David Moyes
David Moyes

David Moyes will not sacrifice Sunderland’s fight for Premier League safety during the Black Cats’ FA Cup run.

Moyes’ team take on Burnley in the third round replay at Turf Moor on Tuesday night after a 0-0 draw in the third round earlier in the year.

Moyes named a full strength team for that game and resisted the temptation to use the club’s U23’s by bringing them on from the bench.

He did the same in the 3-1 defeat to Stoke City, but may be tempted this time around with a crucial league clash with West Brom just days away.

Moyes said: “I’m glad we are still in the cup with a chance of getting through.

“I’d like to get through if I can, I won’t sacrifice it over the Premier League.

“But in the same breath I’d like to go through. We haven’t decided yet on what team we’ve got or what we’ll go with.

“I’ve been here long enough and seen them [U23’s] play regularly so I have an idea about them.

“Some are very young and hopefully will develop into really good players, that’s what we hope will happen.”

Burnley’s stunning home form – Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton took their points tally at Turf Moor this season to 25 from their total of 26 – makes the game intensely difficult.

Sunderland lost 4-1 in the league in Lancashire on December 31 as Andre Gray took full advantage of woeful defending to plunder a hat-trick, and they will have to be significantly better this time around if they are to improve upon that result.

However, Moyes knows just how important a cup victory could be to erase the memory of Saturday’s debacle.

He said: “We have played quite well at home recently – if you look at our record, you’d say we’ve done okay, had some good results, had a great performance against Liverpool and got a good solid draw out of it.

“Saturday’s for me, I wouldn’t even call it a performance. I just thought the individual mistakes never allowed you to judge the performance, whether it was good or bad.

“Obviously you’ll say it’s bad because of the result, but the mistakes were the reason that it came around. We didn’t really get a chance to say, ‘How well did Sunderland play?’ because we were 3-0 down after 35 minutes or so.”