Saturday 21 October 2017

Focus on David Moyes as Leicester add to nightmare week

Sunderland boss David Moyes mulls over a 20th Premier League defeat of the season
Sunderland boss David Moyes mulls over a 20th Premier League defeat of the season

Sunderland boss David Moyes came to Leicester under further pressure after his comments, following a post-match interview in March, that BBC reporter Vicki Sparks might "get a slap" emerged at the weekend.

The Black Cats' 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium - their 20th of the season - kept them bottom of the Premier League and eight points from safety.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the beleaguered Scot and how he handled the game and post-match press conference following the loss.

FAN RECEPTION

Surprisingly there was little early ammunition aimed at Moyes from the Leicester fans while the Sunderland supporters focused their efforts on the action on the pitch.

It took until the 34th minute for the home fans to direct a chant at Moyes of 'he only slaps women' and even then it was half-hearted.

Moyes would have expected more from the crowd following his ill-advised remarks last month but got off lightly at the King Power Stadium.

TOUCHLINE DEMEANOUR

The Scot was in deep discussions with Jermain Defoe and Sebastian Larsson just before kick-off as they plotted an upset.

He rarely looked flustered during a first half which was almost completely devoid of excitement as Sunderland matched Leicester blow-for-blow.

Even when they fell behind to Islam Slimani's opener and conceded a second to Jamie Vardy there was barely a flicker of emotion from the former Manchester United manager.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Moyes has a habit of reacting when the pressure is on in the glare of the spotlight - as Sparks and others in the media can testify - but he was noticeably down after the game.

He admitted he was surprised at the reaction over the last few days but insisted he remained focused on the build-up to the Leicester match.

Moyes remained cool in the face of further questioning over the incident but would have known there was nowhere else he could go.

OVERALL

Sunderland looked doomed to relegation to the Sky Bet Championship and Moyes' off-field issue did further harm to his and the club's reputation.

The sub-plot of his BBC indiscretion distracted ahead of the game but it is clear Moyes is fighting a losing battle to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League.

They have pulled off great escapes before but it looks like a season too far for Sunderland, with Moyes' standing in the game taking another battering.

Press Association

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