Thursday 8 December 2016

Airplane drama interrupts Moyes' Sunderland lift-off

Luke Edwards

Published 25/07/2016 | 02:30

'Moyes had met the players for the first time only yesterday, hours before taking off from Newcastle airport.' Photo: Reuters
'Moyes had met the players for the first time only yesterday, hours before taking off from Newcastle airport.' Photo: Reuters

David Moyes has already had his first drama as Sunderland manager after the plane taking the team to Europe for a pre-season tour made a sudden landing in Manchester.

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Sunderland were flying to Geneva with Eastern Airways before playing three friendlies in France when the plane had to land for mechanical checks after a technical fault. The landing came as a shock to those on board, but the squad boarded another flight a couple of hours later.

Moyes had met the players for the first time only yesterday, hours before taking off from Newcastle airport. With little time to get to know the squad, the former Everton and Manchester United boss knows the France trip is crucial.

Read more: David Moyes' Sunderland career gets off to shaky start with plane drama  

It's understood Moyes will hold individual meetings with his players over the next week but already has an idea of where he needs to strengthen, with a striker and two full-backs his priority.

Moyes also wants to sign Yann M'Vila from Ruben Kazan. The French midfielder spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light. Compatriot Charles N'Zogbia has impressed on trial in midfield, scoring one goal and assisting another against Rotherham on Saturday.

Read more: David Moyes' in-tray at Sunderland

Elsewhere, Celtic have signed defender Kolo Toure on a one-year contract, reuniting him with Brendan Rodgers, his former manager at Liverpool.

The experienced Toure, older brother of Manchester City's Yaya, won 118 caps for the Ivory Coast and played more than 350 league games for Arsenal, City and Liverpool, who released him at the end of last season. He won the Premier League with both Arsenal and City and the FA Cup three times.

"I'm really excited and looking forward to a new challenge," he said. Rodgers told Celtic's website (www.celticfc.net) that Toure's experience would be invaluable for the club, who play away to Astana of Kazakhstan in the Champions League third qualifying round on Wednesday.

"I brought Kolo into Liverpool to add that bit of experience and help to the centre-halves there at the time," the manager said. "You saw from his impact there and in particular last season, he was a very important player for Jurgen Klopp towards the end of last season, playing in the Europa League final.

"With a lot of young players in our squad, he can really help them. Kolo can do very well for us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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