Sunderland manager, David Moyes has stated that he believes that the confidence of his side will be boosted by not being bottom of the Premier League table at Christmas.
A big thing
Sunderland have been in some great form in the last few weeks ahead of the crucial Christmas period, with four wins in their last seven bringing them to the brink of safety with a point separating them of Crystal Palace.
“It’s a big thing for us,” Moyes old the Sunderland Echo. “We’ve got back in contact, we’ve won three out of four home games so that sounds better."
“It’s what you hope you will get," he stated. “If we have that sort of record from now until the end of the season it will give us a great chance of achieving our number one priority."
“Yeah [we’re improving],” the coach admitted. "There’s other bits that we need to improve but the most important thing is that our winning has improved."
He added, "We played well against Leicester there have been some games that I’ve not been so keen on and Watford was one of them."
Moyes concluded. "I'd like to play better but the win was really important and we have to take the wins over the performances."
Picking up the gongs
Two Black Cats have been given a boost on a personal scale, with both Jermain Defoe and Jordan Pickford winning the North East Football Writers’ Association’s 2016 footballer of the year and Young Player of the Year respectively.
Defoe has scored 19 goals in 2016 helping Sunderland to their survival, while Pickford has managed to break into the side and secure the number one jersey and both shared their delight at receiving their individual awards.
“I would like to thank the North East Football Writers for voting for me and the Sunderland fans for their amazing support," Defoe told safc.com. "They have been behind me from day one."
"I dedicate this award to them," he added. "Sunderland is a very special football club that I know will be part of me forever”.
“I would like to say thank you to the Sunderland Academy staff who started me on my journey," Pickford said. "To the backroom staff and everyone at the club who has helped me in my career so far and to my family."
He concluded: "Without their support and encouragement I wouldn’t have the fantastic opportunities that I have today."
Sunderland AFC will visit Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, December 26 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.