David Moyes insists 'slap' remark didn't distract Sunderland for Leicester game
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."
Leicester's victory was their fifth successive league win which lifted them to 10th and nine points above the relegation zone.
They have won all six games since boss Craig Shakespeare replaced Claudio Ranieri in February but Shakespeare insisted the champions are yet to banish the threat of relegation.
He said: "No, I'm still not going to say that. Other teams are capable of going on runs and again I've been in football long enough to know anything can happen. We have to stay focused and move on to the next one.
"We have to make sure we're ready for each football match. That's my job.
"It (the winning run) started against Liverpool but I couldn't have imagined it. It doesn't feel easy, especially on the side. I've never felt really comfortable until the final whistle."
Shakespeare's substitutes Marc Albrighton and Slimani combined for the opener just seven minutes after coming on.
"The first goal was going to be important so to have them both involved was terrific," Shakespeare added.