David Moyes has stated that April could be a deciding month for his Sunderland side in their efforts to avoid relegation following their 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
April could decide Wearsiders' fate
The Black Cats boss said that April "looks like being a really big month for us" with fixtures against Watford, Leicester, Manchester United, West Ham, Arsenal and Bournemouth awaiting them whilst the gap to safety is now six points.
Moyes stressed that his side "don't want to be adrift" at the bottom of the table and added that he hopes to "add a few more people to the squad" by the start of April with Jan Kirchhoff, Victor Anichebe and Lee Cattermole working their way back from injury.
The three have not been involved much this season and have only made a combined 20 appearances due to injuries, although Kirchhoff has returned to training and could be involved in tonight's U23 fixture against Manchester United as he looks to return for the run-in.
Moyes remained positive regarding Sunderland's chances of survival despite their latest defeat, saying that they have "a good chance" of staying up if they perform like they did in the first half an hour on Sunday.
Moyes praised select players despite defeat
Didier Ndong was given more of an advanced role in Sunday's game as Moyes looked to use his energy to put pressure on what has been an unsettled Manchester City defence recently, and his manager praised his performance.
"I was impressed because I wanted to get as much energy in the middle of the pitch", said Moyes, who opted to field an unchanged side for the first time in his Sunderland career.
The Scotsman also praised Billy Jones' performance against "a very difficult opponent" in Leroy Sane, although he added that he will have to review Sane's goal to see if Jones "narrowed up too quickly and too fast."