Moyes ‘surprised’ over reaction to ‘slap’ comment

Matt Stead

Beleaguered Sunderland boss David Moyes dismissed any suggestions the fall-out from his “slap” remark distracted him before for the Black Cats’ 2-0 loss at Leicester.

The rock bottom side slipped to a 20th defeat of the Premier League season and now sit eight points from safety with eight games remaining.

Second-half goals from Islam Slimani and Jamie Vardy shot down the battling visitors at the King Power Stadium.

It ended a controversial few days for Moyes after footage emerged over the weekend of him telling a BBC reporter she “might get a slap” following a post-match interview last month.

But the Scot insisted he remained focused ahead of their trip to the champions on Tuesday.

“I’ve been surprised in many ways but I’ve done my job with the players, prepared them and organised them,” he said.

“The world of football is a great business now, it employs an incredible amount of people, whether it be in the media or at the training grounds, and for that reason football is a big talking point.

“It was not difficult at all, I said and did all the things, prepared the players and did the same things we would do for any other game.

“It’s tougher. I really felt that to give us a real chance we would have to win one of these two away games and they both were difficult on paper.

“What I didn’t put down was a win against a Manchester United or an Arsenal or Chelsea in our remaining fixtures so in my head I know we have to win at least one of those games.”

Moyes apologised and Sunderland issued a statement saying the comments were “wholly inappropriate” but backed the manager.

He added: “I think it was great to get that support from the club and I expected it.”

Victor Anichebe hit a post in between Slimani and Vardy scoring and Moyes admitted Slimani’s goal was crucial.

He added: “I thought we’d done a really good job up to 60 or 65 minutes. I thought we’d limited Leicester and played well. The first goal was always going to be vitally important.”