David Moyes has “taken no prisoners” this week as he sets about rebuilding Sunderland.
That was the news from the Black Cats player who knows him as well as anyone – Victor Anichebe.
You have to do all the ground work first before you go onto the other stuff, that’s what this week has been aboutVICTOR ANICHEBE
The giant striker said that the man who made him an Everton star had been cracking the whip this week, taking the side back to basics after last week’s giveaway against Crystal Palace.
And Anichebe hopes the work done this week on the training ground at the Academy of Light will pay dividends against West Brom tomorrow at the Stadium of Light (kick-off 3pm).
“The gaffer has not taken any prisoners,” said the Scouser, who joined Sunderland at the start of the month. “He has been getting into everyone, getting back into the way he used to be, really hammering into us about shape and the basics of defending.
“You have to do all the ground work first before you go onto the other stuff, that’s what this week has been about. Hopefully we can continue to improve and get the results.”
The Cats come up against Anichebe’s former club, West Brom, who released him in the summer.
He is well aware of how hard tomorrow’s match will be, describing it as a “huge game”. The Baggies currently sit 10th in the table with two wins and two draws from their six matches.
“I have seen their results, they have started the season really well even considering the other stuff [takeover etc],” he said. “I have some good friends there and I’m really happy with how they are doing.
“But the most important thing is that I’m here now and I hope we can get a good result at the weekend.
“We know how big the game is, we can have a good performance and result.
“West Brom are always difficult to beat and break down. I know the gaffer well, I know how much Tony puts into the shape organisation, stuff like that.
“This game is going to be really tight, tense, but we know how much it means and we’re going to be ready for it.”
Anichebe made his debut last weekend as a late sub against Palace and felt the pain of the Stadium of Light faithful.
“The fans were frustrated, we were frustrated,” he said in an interview on www.safc.com. “Some people from the outside say we [footballers] don’t care, but honestly we do.
“I’ve not been here that long but that wasn’t nice at all, especially after we’d dug in so well.
“The good thing is we performed better, JD is in good form, but we need to start keeping clean sheets.
“It’s not just the defence, everyone has to come together as a team.”
Anichebe is working his way towards fitness, giving rise to hopes that a little & large pairing with Jermain Defoe can prove a hit.
“We’ve played a few training games together, young v old and stuff,” said the 28-year-old. “We’ve linked well in training, he’s a really good player, he’s a great player to watch, some of the finishes he produces.
“We have other options as well, Duncan [Watmore], plus a few of the younger boys.
“But playing with him is really good, it could be a good combination, hopefully when I get fitter then we can see how that goes.”
He could yet feature in Sunderland’s Checkatrade Trophy derby at Hartlepool United on Tuesday night.
“It’s coming slowly, but surely, I’m still playing catch-up, I need game time,” he said. “I’m going to mix that in with the reserves.
“I have no problems playing there as long as I can get fit to come back and help the team, that’s all that matters.”