David Moyes has praised former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar following the player’s debut for his Sunderland side on Sunday.
Pienaar was called into action off the bench in the 37th minute at the Stadium of Light to replace the injured John O’Shea and turned in an effective performance, despite the side falling to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough.
‘… Steven Pienaar did brilliantly after coming on; everyone stuck to it,’ Moyes told the club’s official website. The players who came in today because of injuries did a really good job.’
The 34-year-old Pienaar recently signed a 1-year deal with the Black Cats having been released by Moyes’ former club Everton at the end of last season.
‘The fans were brilliant,’ added Moyes, who has admitted he is resigned to facing a relegation battle this term.
‘I hope they understand it’s going to take time and we have some problems at the moment that we’re trying to make better.’
Sunderland dominated large parts of the game against Middlesborough but paid the price for their defensive frailty. The side will have an opportunity to bounce back when they face Shrewsbury in the League Cup on Wednesday evening.
The match will be played at the Stadium of Light.
Kick-off is at 20:45.