DAVID MOYES is convinced he can repair a fractured relationship with Sunderland's fans if he stays on after his future is decided within 48 hours of tomorrow's final game of the season.
The Black Cats boss could take charge of the team for the last time at Stamford Bridge when a deeply frustrating first season in charge can find closure.
Moyes is due to have talks with the club’s owner Ellis Short early next week when he hopes to hear the positive vibes required to enable him to attack a rebuilding job ahead of a season in the Championship.
It is by no means certain he will agree to stay on, nor is it clear what Short is thinking because the American has not aired his views, even though there have been calls from the stands to sack the Scottish boss.
But Moyes has recently claimed he was given the encouragement to continue by Short when they had their initial meeting a couple of weeks ago along with chief executive Martin Bain.
If he did stay in charge he is convinced he could win back the hearts and minds of those who have turned on him by delivering a team worthy of claiming promotion back to the Premier League – and used under-fire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as an example of how it can be done.
Asked if he thinks he can come back from the fans booing him, he said; “I do. You can go through many places where it has changed.
“Arsene Wenger was getting a lot of criticism recently but he has won seven out of eight games, eight out of nine games, something like that, and got them to the FA Cup final.
“Winning football games makes a big, big difference. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to win enough this year.”
It is highly unlikely Sunderland, short of options and with 11 players ruled out through injury, can end the season on a high by winning at the champions Chelsea tomorrow. The bookmakers quote the men from Wearside as 18/1 to succeed, while even the draw is available at 15/2.
But the outcome at Chelsea will not determine what happens next; that will all become clearer after Moyes and Short’s discussions.
The Sunderland boss said: “The meeting will be about what we put forward. The plans for the future. How I see it. What it looks like to be promoted and what is required for our squad.
“I will put it to Ellis and the board and we will talk about it. We will do that over the next few days.”
Moyes will seek reassurance there will be finance available to build a squad capable of going back up at the first attempt, like Newcastle United did this season.
There is likely to be interest in a few of his players, which could strengthen his arm on the transfer front if they were sold. He would, though, prefer to keep both Didier Ndong and Jordan Pickford, who he values highly.
Ndong, 22, had a difficult start after his £16m switch from Lorient but has shown flashes of a player capable of holding his own in the Premier League if he is part of a better team.
Moyes said: “He’s under contract and I definitely see him being here. I think he’s played as well as anyone in the last six to eight weeks. I do think it takes the player a year to settle in, coming from abroad.
“To come to the club in the position it’s in was difficult. People also forget, we talk a lot about Jordan’s age, but Didier is younger than Jordan. He’s also younger than George Honeyman. He’s a young boy who has come from France and has played 90 per cent of the games.”
Moyes also reiterated it will take big money to buy Pickford after his brilliant first full season at the top level. His reputation soared further after a long line of saves against Arsenal on Tuesday.
“It would need to be a really, big offer,” said Moyes, who suggested £30m could be the sort of figure required to tempt Sunderland to sell.
“On your journey you may have to sell to improve. It would only be, I have heard some derisory figures being mentioned, not those figures I can tell you that.
“He has been our highlight. For a young boy to break in and perform like that. The other night he was fantastic. Nearly everything was perfect and we will need him again this weekend.”
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