Sunderland boss David Moyes delighted Vito Mannone proved his worth to team-mates

David Moyes has said that Vito Mannone needed to show his team-mates a big performance in Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Liverpool,

Thursday, 5th January 2017, 6:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:50 am
Vito Mannone

Moyes had no hesitation in saying he felt the Italian should have performed better in the 4-1 drubbing at Turf Moor on Saturday, but spoke of his relief at seeing him back to his best on Monday.

Moyes said: “Vito played really well, especially after the Burnley game.

“I think it was important for him, but also for the team as well to see, because we’ve needed our goalkeeper, whoever it’s been, and we needed him against Liverpool.”

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Jordan Pickford’s injury, picked up at Old Trafford, was the latest in a long line of troubles for Sunderland, but the inspirational form of the homegrown stopper meant his was the most debilitating for the struggling side.

Pickford took the number one jersey from Mannone earlier in the season when the 28-year-old suffered an elbow injury, but the Italian showed against Jurgen Klopp’s men that he can be a capable deputy.

Mannone made a string of excellent saves, particularly in the opening period, as Daniel Sturridge and Georginjo Wijnaldum went close. He also held his nerve and saved well from Adam Lallana as Liverpool chased a winner.

Pickford will be out for a crucial period of games, but veteran defender John O’Shea has said the side have proven they can cope without him.

He said of Mannone: “It was fantastic for him.

“When you have players missing, you have players stepping up.

“It’s unfortunate about Jordan. but to have someone like Vito coming in is fantastic for us.

“But it’s not about the individual. It’s about the collective unit – that’s what’s got us out of trouble the last few seasons.”