Sunderland V Southampton at Stadium of Light : Match Preview

10 February 2017
Sunderland V Southampton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Sunderland hope to head to New York City on back of win over Southampton

David Moyes is hoping a trip to the Big Apple will bear fruit as Sunderland dig in for another Premier League relegation battle.

The Black Cats boss and his players will head for New York after Saturday's clash with Southampton at the Stadium of Light on a team bonding exercise ahead of what promises to be a tense run-in.

It will be far from a sunshine break - the forecast for next week includes snow and temperatures as low as -7C - but it will give the squad a chance to foster the kind of spirit it will need to scrap its way out of trouble.

Moyes said: "I've done it before. It's something different. I know it works. For the players, it's something to look forward to.

"I told them last week and I hope I get the same positive response as I did against Crystal Palace when I told them we were going to New York. If they can give me that again this week, then I'll be more than happy and I might even fix up something else.

"I don't know what I'm going to top it with, but look, we will go there and we'll train every day. We'll train differently, but sometimes at this time of the year, they need a little bit of a break as well and going to a training camp is not always the best idea.

"We will do other things - we are going to watch basketball, a few are going to the ice hockey, there'll be some, I'm sure, will go to Ground Zero where some of them have never been.

"The big thing for me is for us to get a team spirit where they look after each other on the pitch, but they begin to build relationships off it as well, so I am trying to help do both."

Asked if the 4-0 victory at Palace had increased his belief that the Black Cats can avoid relegation, Moyes said: "I've always thought we had a good chance, but if the players play as well as they did do in the last game, I think it will give us an even better chance.

"They went to another level last week. Now, how often we can get that level between now and the end of the season will be crucial to where we end up."

Claude Puel has urged his Southampton to players to forget about their EFL Cup final against Manchester United and focus on Sunderland.

Against the team that is bottom of the league but threatening a revival, Southampton hope to avoid equalling their worst-ever top-flight run of seven defeats from eight games, as they last did in 1998/99.

Unlike then, they appear at little risk of relegation, but Puel is concerned their glamorous fixture at Wembley on February 26 could distract them.

"The game, seriously, I don't think anything about the final," said the 55-year-old, according to the Southampton Daily Echo. "For me it's far and we have time to prepare this game, so it's just to stay focused about this game against Sunderland.

"Our fans, the squad, the staff, all deserve other things, not this last result (losing 3-1 to West Ham).

"All the players have some good concentration about this game without thinking about the final and this is very important.

"We can have one week to prepare this game and it is fantastic for us. It is a very good thing to keep our calm, to have the good analysis about the last games and to find the good solution to prepare this game.

"It is a good place and a good opponent to show other things and to give pleasure and good feeling for the fans and for all the team and to prepare the final with a good spirit and calm because we know we can do good work the week before."

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