Embattled Sunderland boss David Moyes has vowed to fight on after fans turned on him in the wake of a costly derby defeat at Middlesbrough.
The 54-year-old Scot, who on Wednesday morning was hit with a Football Association charge over comments he made to a female reporter last month, finished a bad day on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline at the Riverside Stadium.
The result means the rock-bottom Black Cats, who remain 12 points adrift of 17th-placed Hull, could be relegated on Saturday, and prompted sections of the travelling supporters to sing “We want Moyesy out” during the game.
However, asked afterwards if he would quit, Moyes said: “No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin.
“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.
“I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose. When you are the manager and bottom of the league, then it’s expected.
“But let me tell you, it’s the first time that it’s happened at any club I’ve been at.”
Indeed, the Sunderland boss felt his side had played well in patches at the Riverside, if lacking a cutting edge, and defended his players after they were subjected to a chorus of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” after the final whistle.
He said: “Tonight we have lost, but there are ways to lose and tonight the players put in a performance that would have given us a chance of winning other games.”
Boro head coach Steve Agnew was understandably far happier after Marten de Roon’s ninth-minute strike secured his first win since replacing Aitor Karanka and the club’s first in the league since December 17, although they remain six points shy of safety with just 12 for which to play.
He said: “We hadn’t won a game since December, so we needed to win the game, we did win the game and all the players are very, very pleased.
“I was pleased. I was pleased not so much for myself; really, really pleased for all the players and all the support staff because I know how much work has gone in in recent weeks and it’s a result that they very much deserved.”