Victor Anichebe set his own benchmark in the win over Bournemouth says manager David Moyes – who has now challenged him to repeat it.
The 28-year-old was outstanding in the win on the south coast, with Anichebe scoring one and earning the penalty for the winner on his full debut for the club.
Moyes worked with Anichebe at Everton – the 53-year-old Scot handing him his professional debut – and he knew what the striker could offer provided he could get him physically right and in the right frame of mind.
Moyes insists Anichebe is now both of those and Sunderland are reaping the reward.
He has now challenged the striker, signed on a free after being released by West Bromwich Albion in the summer, to repeat his performance against Hull City today.
Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland host fellow strugglers Hull at the Stadium of Light, with both sides looking for back-to-back victories.
Moyes said: “I have said many times that if we can get Victor physically and mentally right – which at the moment he is – then we have a player on our hands.
“We brought him in after the window closed and I knew if he came here, that hopefully I could press the right buttons and get him playing.
“He earned us the three points at Bournemouth; he scored the first and made the second and his all-round performance was very good.
“I do expect him to do it again.
“I’m not saying he will, but I expect him to do it in all the games if he can. He is capable.
“He is a big lad and has good attributes. Hopefully we will find ways of playing him, if we can.
“It might not always be as a central striker, but we will use him when and where we see fit.”
Anichebe suffered a rib injury in the opening 15 minutes at the Vitality Stadium but played on through the pain to help earn his side three precious points.
“Victor had a rib injury, but it wasn’t a break – the muscle between his two ribs had been damaged – and that was where the problem came from,” added Moyes.
Victory over Bournemouth was the first of the league campaign and now Moyes is looking to quickly make that a double.
Moyes said: “We got one win but straight away we said we now need to beat Hull and try and get our second result.
“Once we get two, that will not be enough, then we need to get three.
“We came off a really good result against Bournemouth, a team with a great spirit backed by great fan support.
“This week we had a player called into the national team in Jordan Pickford. There are a lot of good things going for us and we want to try and build on that momentum.
“I don’t enjoy looking at the league table, but I enjoyed the feeling of the win.
“We know one win is not enough and our focus is totally on getting the second,” added Moyes.