DAVID MOYES wants Sunderland’s players to deliver the improved results that will help the club emerge through rocky waters after a week when Patrick van Aanholt has been in the spotlight for unwanted reasons.

Just days after van Aanholt was taken out of the Black Cats starting line-up shortly before kick-off on the recommendation of a cardiologist, a picture emerged of the full-back allegedly smoking a shisha pipe.

The incident is believed to have taken place more than a month before the trip to Tottenham, although Moyes is still disappointed with the Dutchman’s actions and has warned him not to repeat it.

Moyes has had to deal with one thing after another since taking over from Sam Allardyce in July, which in itself was not the ideal timing because it meant he was playing catch-up in the transfer market.

Since he has had to deal with slow progress on the transfer front, uncertainty surrounding the future of Lamine Kone and long term injuries to Vito Mannone and Fabio Borini; all while he spent a lot of his time trying to make Sunderland stronger in the Premier League.

This week has been bizarre to deal too, given he decided to leave out van Aanholt at Tottenham following the results of a heart scan five days earlier before receiving news of the player’s behaviour away from the club when he smoked the shisha pipe.

Moyes, whose side are looking for a first league win today when Crystal Palace travel to Wearside, said: “At the moment there's a few things! Hopefully we'll get them all put away to bed, and we'll move it on as we go along.

“The truth of it probably is that there is something else to come! It's a journey, and the journey is going to be until we find the smoother water. We're in rough seas until then.

“But what's the way we do that? The team? Performance, play well, it can take away a lot of the bad news, and let's get some positive news that we're winning some games, playing better and looking better. That's what I'd like it to be, to try to get away from that negative feeling if we can.”

Moyes has spoken to van Aanholt about his actions. The former Chelsea man, who only signed a new contract in the summer, has been left in no doubt his manager disagrees with what he was up to in August, before the start of the Premier League season.

The Sunderland boss said: “I've not made a call on that (his punishment) yet because there's a lot going on at the moment and obviously I've only just found out. It was his off-time, it was in his own time.

“But I've told him already that I don't expect that from a player, and I don't expect it at any time, never mind the off-season. Nevertheless, he has to realise he's got to conduct himself much better.”

He added: “I don’t expect a player to do that, I don’t expect a player playing for me doing that. I have had a word with him. I am not impressed. I also have to say, it was a picture from six weeks ago, it was in his own time, not during the season, but let me make clear I don’t condone it at all.

“It is a bad thing for us to show our younger children, and for supporters to see players (doing that). I don’t think it is a good thing at all. Players have to be super fit, we need to get Sunderland super fit and in a great condition to compete in games. That is the first thing I need to get sorted, and what I am concerned with.

Moyes also clarified the confusion over van Aanholt’s absence from the team at Tottenham. Earlier this week Moyes suggested the FA had only advised the club shortly before kick-off at White Hart Lane, but that was denied.

And Moyes said: “I've had a bit more clarification. The doctor advised me that we had been given a panel who had told us that the player shouldn't play. Subsequently, that information has not been completely accurate and I hope that we're able to clarify that and clear it up.

“Ultimately, the right decision was taken and made at the time for the player and for the club. We weren't the ones who got the message through at ten to four, and I've only passed on the information which has been fed to me.”