Sunderland AFC manager David Moyes, has insisted that the loss of midfielder Jan Kirchhoff will be a massive blow to the club.
A big blow
The German has been a star man in the Black Cats side since joining from Bayern Munich last January, and proved to be a big miss during the first four matches of the season due to a hamstring injury.
He only lasted 56 minutes of the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, been stretchered off after appearing to have injured himself while jumping for a header.
It is unclear what the 26-year-old's injury is, or his estimated time of absence, but Moyes believes that his injury is a big blow to his side.
"Not to have him, Steven Pienaar and Adnan Januzaj is massive, because they help us play better and we are short in that area," Moyes told the Sunderland Echo. "They are big, big misses to this club."
He continued: “If we lose Kirch and we lose Catts, we lose a little bit of the steel and a little bit of the boys who have been here before while we’re looking to build a new team.”
Starting to turn it around
The Wearsider's search for a first league win of the season continued on Saturday, but looked unlikely as Nacer Chadli gave the baggies the lead in the first-half.
However a goal from Kirchhoff's replacement Patrick van Aanholt seven minutes from time, made sure the spoils were shared, and Moyes believes that it was good to avoid defeat ahead of the international break.
“It was really important not to be sat in that position,” said Moyes. “I’m really disappointed not to get all three points, but it wasn’t for the want of trying, and it wasn’t for the want of the players doing the best they can, and maybe the players are doing the best they can."
Moyes concluded: “If they’re doing their best, then that’s all you can ask for."
Sunderland AFC will take on Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday, October 15 with kick-off at 3pm BST.