David Moyes has called for a united front as he attempts to drag Sunderland out of another tailspin, warning that sacking managers in the past has not solved the club’s lingering problems.
The 53-year-old Scot is still awaiting his first Premier League win as Black Cats boss nine games into his reign and finds himself rooted to the foot of the table, as have so many of his predecessors in recent years.
However, he believes the departures of Roy Keane, Ricky Sbragia, Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill, Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Sam Allardyce inside the last eight years illustrates that there is something more fundamental than simply the performance of the man in the hot-seat in Sunderland’s failings.
Asked how difficult he is finding the current situation, Moyes said: “Yes, it is, it’s never easy. But I’ve got to say, it’s part of the job and I don’t think when I came here I probably expected it to be an awful lot better.
“I hoped it would be better, but I think deep down, I also expected it to be that way.
“But you know, it’s a collective job now, it’s not just the manager because everybody has had the focus on the manager here before.
“It has to be the staff, it has to be the playing staff, it has to be everybody involved in the club because yes, you can change the one guy there, but it’s proved in the past that’s not the answer.”
Moyes’ comments came after midfielder Jack Rodwell’s admission that the players had to take responsibility for a dreadful start to the season in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham, which left the club five points adrift of safety.
Rodwell told the Chronicle: “We have a great manager here and we need to do it on the pitch. It’s the 11 players on the pitch who have to do it. We have gone a bit backwards, but we are the ones who can put it right.”
Moyes said: “That’s good, it’s good to hear the players taking that responsibility because the longer I have been in football, the top players do take responsibility. The top players take responsibility for what they have to do and they work.
“Look, if we had been 0-0 sitting here we would have said, ‘Not a bad point’.”