By Alex Davidson
David Moyes, the Sunderland manager, plans to make a decision about his future at the club over the summer despite previously insisting that he would see out his four-year contract.
Moyes signed his current deal last summer and expected to rebuild the club over the long term. However, after a desperately poor season – Sunderland could be relegated if they lose today’s home game against Bournemouth – fierce criticism from supporters and being charged by the Football Association on Wednesday after telling BBC reporter Vicki Sparks she might “get a slap”, Moyes has reconsidered his position.
Asked if he would still be in charge at the start of next season, he said: ”I would say that I would make that decision at the end of the season because, at this moment in time, it would be the wrong time to say that.
”That’s not a seismic change in position, I just have a situation where we need to see how things are at the end of the season. It’s me saying I will assess the situation at the end of the season.”
Moyes was appointed last July and supporters were pleased by his arrival, but their mood has changed after a season that has produced five wins in 33 league games and left them adrift at the bottom of the table.
“Twelve months ago everyone was saying the best appointment [for Sunderland] was David Moyes - no one was saying it wasn’t,” he said.
“It has changed a bit in the last couple of weeks, maybe before that, because of the position we’re in but there’s only one place I want to be at kick-off and that’s somewhere around my technical area.
“Supporters are entitled to their frustrations. I agree with them. Whoever has sat in this seat in recent years has endured those frustrations but, however hostile the atmosphere might be, it wouldn’t make me turn around and say: 'I’m getting away because of that.' Certainly not.
"If I leave, it will never be because of the supporters.”
Moyes hinted that much of the problem lay in recruitment. “We probably were not able to do as much business in that part of the season as we would have liked,” he said.
“I think January was the first profit we have had in transfers at this club in any transfer window for quite some time.”