David Moyes will always tell it as it is – no matter what the situation is at Sunderland.
The 53-year-old, who will this week take the Black Cats to Stoke City for a vital Premier League showdown, says he will not alter his style.
I would rather come out and tell the truth. I would rather not kid the supportersDAVID MOYES
There has been a few grumbles about how the club’s sixth manager in six years has been downbeat about the prospects at the Stadium of Light.
But Moyes says he has too much respect for fans to be anything but honest, arguing that the situation was bleak when he took charge.
“It is difficult to change that,” he said.
“I could come out and be singing and dancing and say all good things, but the truth is I haven’t had many positive things to talk about. That is a fact.
“I would rather come out and tell the truth. I would rather not kid the supporters.
“Sunderland supporters are knowledgeable and have been brought up with really good football through their grandfathers and their fathers and the history at the club.
“They don’t want me to come out with things that aren’t true.
“They would rather me be honest and straightforward. This part of the world is a bit like that.
“A man is a man, if you like, and you tell them what the situation is.
“That is the way I choose to manage and the way I choose to speak.”
You got the sense of Moyes’s trait of honesty during the Patrick van Aanholt pull-out at Tottenham.
Rather than spin a story to the press afterwards, as some managers might do with the Fourth Estate, the Glaswegian said he would rather not say anything that was less than the truth.
And the same was true after the late giveaway to Crystal Palace – everyone saw how bad the goals were Sunderland conceded and Moyes did not hide away from that.
Clearly, Moyes feels the honest approach will be better in the long – and short – run and there have been too many false dawns for him to give the people of Wearside another one,
“They have had the horrible years but did it make people feel better when managers said it would be fine and it wasn’t?” he added.
“I have just said what I feel.”
it is the start of not just a big week for Moyes and Sunderland but a big two weeks.
The Black Cats face relegation zone ‘neighbours’ Stoke City and West Ham United on successive Saturdays.
Both are on the road where Sunderland have had the chance to gather more than the solitary point they have mustered in their three away days.
Sunderland’s first three journeys have been to members of last season’s top six and, in the case of Manchester City and Spurs, two sides who are very real title contenders this time.
They lost those trips by only a single goal, so it will be interesting to see how they fare at two lesser sides over the next two Saturdays.