Sunderland boss on Sam Allardyce, Patrick van Aanholt reunion and relegation scrap

Sunderland manager David Moyes
Sunderland manager David Moyes

David Moyes believes his Sunderland squad has a lot to thank Sam Allardyce for ahead of their reunion tomorrow.

Allardyce steered the Black Cats to Premier League survival last season against the odds after taking charge in October last year.

Former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is now in charge of Crystal Palace

Former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is now in charge of Crystal Palace

He left last summer after England came calling - albeit briefly - with Moyes replacing him in the hot seat at the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce is, of course, now back in management at Crystal Palace, with the two sides due to meet tomorrow afternoon at Selhurst Park in a huge bottom-of-the-table clash.

Patrick van Aanholt, who this week left Sunderland for Palace in a deal worth up to £14million, will be in the starting line-up for the home team.

Ahead of the game, Moyes believes Sunderland have a lot to thank Allardyce for - but insists his focus is purely on coming back to Wearside with three points.

Moyes, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "I think the players have a lot to thank Sam Allardyce for, but we want to go there and get three points.

"We look forward to playing against Patrick on Saturday.

"You'll always be friends but on the pitch you want to get a result.

"We're going to have to win some big games in the run in. Every point is important for us."

Sunderland head into the game at Selhurst Park on the back of the goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

It was a hard-fought and morale-boosting point against title-chasing Spurs but other results went against Sunderland in midweek, with Swansea City and tomorrow's opponents Palace both winning, while Hull City earned a point at Manchester United.

Moyes added: "There is no guarantee that results go the way everyone expects, but it was a good game for us and a good point."