Moyes anticipating tough game against Middlesbrough

Sunderland manager David Moyes has said that he is anticipating a tough game on Sunday, as they welcome newly-promoted rivals Middlesbrough to the Stadium of Light.

Putting faith in the youngsters

The Black Cats will be looking to bounce back on their return to Wearside, after their opening day 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, as they look to collect their first three points against Aitor Karanka's side.

Despite the expectation surrounding the first Tees-Wear derby in seven years, it is believed that Moyes will continue to put his faith in the likes of Donald Love and Lynden Gooch, who impressed against Pep Guardiola's side. MHe admitted that it will be a tough game, but won't be afraid to through the young players into the mix.

He said, "It will be a tough game, it would be tough if we were going to their stadium too." But Moyes was firm in the belief that, "We have to make it a tough game here. We need the crowd to be right behind us, vocal and clamouring for every decision."

"If we chose them. We may decide it is not the game for them," said Moyes, when asked if the youngsters will make an impact: "What I will do is make sure they are in and around the squad, there are a couple of others I have been quite impressed by as well."

The Scot added, "I would have no fears over throwing them in."

Supposed wantaway defender Lamine Kone in training with Sunderland. | Photo: Getty Images
Supposed wantaway defender Lamine Kone in training with Sunderland. | Photo: Getty Images

Spirits are high

It has been a hectic few days in the North East, with Younes Kaboul moving onto Watford and Lamine Kone continuing his attempts to push through his move to Everton, but Moyes has insisted that spirits are high in the Black Cats camp.

"We don't feel down in any way. I wouldn't say there are any questions about the spirit. It is good," said the 53-year-old. He added, "The players know we will be making the squad stronger and adding to it and they are looking forward to seeing who's next."

Sunderland will host Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, August 21 with kick-off at 1:30pm BST.