Victor Moses knows all too well what it is like playing for a relegation-threatened side, and insists we must give Sunderland no opportunity to break their poor run of form on Sunday.
Moses was with Wigan last season when they had picked up just 15 points in the opening half of the campaign, and on this day a year ago they sat 19th in the table, only to win seven of their last nine games to survive.
Sunderland replaced manager Martin O’ Neill with Paulo Di Canio last week having accumulated just three points from their last eight games, and will be keen to begin their recovery this afternoon.
‘That always seemed to happen with Wigan, but I don’t know the reason for it,’ Moses said on their great escapes. ‘Last season we struggled at the beginning, but towards the end, went on a mad run and started winning games.
‘It’s the belief, we had lost a lot of games but we stuck together as a team and had a little meeting and started winning games and moving up the table. One crucial result can help you and give you momentum going into the next game. It’s the same at the top.
‘It’s important we don’t give Sunderland that chance. It’s an important game and we’ve got enough quality players to win that game. It won’t be an easy one because they’ve got a new manager and the players will want to prove themselves to him, but we’ve won our last two and if we can make it three on Sunday that would be great for us.’
Depending on Tottenham’s result against Everton in a game which kicks off an hour before our fixture, we could climb back into third place of the Barclays Premier League with victory. After a goalscoring appearance against Rubin Kazan on Thursday, Moses hopes for another start this afternoon. There are no complaints of fatigue from the 22-year-old during this busy period.
‘Tiredness isn’t something I worry about. I’ve been off to the African Cup of Nations, where the whole thing is different, the weather, the food, and coming back to a different environment is quite difficult, so it takes a little time to get back to how you were before,’ he admitted. ‘I’ve been working hard in training trying to get back on top of my game, and Thursday was a good one. We won 3-1, so can look forward to Sunday now.
‘For me, as long as you eat well and sleep well, you should be able to play your game. If you’re winning games you have belief that you can keep on doing so, and that buzz in the changing room carries you through.’