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Quick Kicks: Giving Moyes Some Well Earned Credit

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Your weekly dose of managerial analysis from Gav very rightly gives recognition to a man who, very rightly, has been panned in recent weeks.

AFC Bournemouth v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

David Moyes has been criticised at times this season for his decision-making and comments in the build up to games, but I feel it's only right that I take the time to give our manager some credit for the way he has handled himself over the last week or so.

Moyes spoke realistically in the press this week and made a big deal out of the supporters throughout that time. His presence during the much-maligned midweek club visit to the Nissan factory was, to his credit, very active and positive and then he reacted to criticism of his playing style and approach by completely changing the shape of the team at Bournemouth, and was rewarded as such with a hard fought win from his players.

Naturally, Moyes was delighted at the manner of his team's performance on Saturday but was keen to remind everyone that we still have a very steep mountain to climb in our bid for top flight survival.

Speaking in his full time email, he said:

I’m very happy, It’s our first win of the season; we’ll not get carried away, we now need to go out and get number two.

I think we got the result today against all of the odds. There was a little bit of luck on our side and we’ve not had that in recent games.

The players worked very, very hard and they did well. Bournemouth will be disappointed they didn’t score from the chances they had but so were we with some of the opportunities we missed.

We had to hang on after going down to 10 men and we played the best part of 30 minutes that way - and it did feel longer, but we kept at it and we got our goal.

Victor [Anichebe] was fantastic today, as was Jermain {Defoe], but ultimately the goalkeeper and the back four did a tremendous job for us.

It’s our first win; let’s not get carried away, we’ve a lot of work to do to climb up the league.

I’m really happy for the supporters, they travel in their numbers and they’ve stuck with us, that result is for them.

Moyes alluded pre-match that his plans for the game changed with the injury of Jack Rodwell in training on Thursday but it's fair to say that his decision to start Victor Anichebe was the main factor in Sunderland's victory at Dean Court.

With Moyes sat in the stands it was left to Robbie Stockdale to take charge of the team on the sidelines and it may not be the worst idea in the world for Moyes to continue watching the first half of games away from the touchline - he himself acknowledged that you get to see a better picture of how your team are playing from a stint in the cheap seats, and Stockdale was constantly motivating the Sunderland players from the side of the pitch. It was a thoroughly decent combination.

The important thing now is that David Moyes must capitalise on this victory over the coming weeks and not allow his players to slip back into a comfortable state of mind. Whilst the international break seems unfortunate, it's an opportunity for him to work on the shape that won us the game - it clearly works and suited everyone on the pitch. If we revert to playing with wingers and one up front against Hull, I'll be bitterly disappointed.

Overall though, the manager deserves a big pat on the back for the way in which he's carried himself this week. He's taken a tonne of flack recently and it's only fair that we give him some credit after he does something well.