Moyes anticipates big atmosphere

20 Aug 2016
Manchester City v Sunderland

Sunderland manager wants to make Stadium of Light a cauldron for Middlesbrough visit

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David Moyes wants to make the Stadium of Light a fortress, starting with an encounter with local rivals Middlesbrough in his first home match as Sunderland manager.

He saw his new side fall to a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on the opening weekend, despite levelling the match through Jermain Defoe with 20 minutes remaining.

The former Everton and Manchester United manager is relishing the homecoming this weekend, telling “I’m looking forward to the game because I always thought coming to the Stadium of Light had a big atmosphere and a big crowd.

“One of my jobs is to raise expectations, I want to have a full stadium because that means fans are seeing the things they want to see and they are seeing improvements.

“My plan is to make sure that’s what the supporters get. I’ve had lots of memories at the Stadium of Light but I’ve got to make sure the teams that come here don’t find it a nice place to come and play."

For the visitors, it is their first Premier League trip to Sunderland since their last top-flight campaign I 2008/09.

After guiding Middlesbrough to automatic promotion from the Championship last term, manager Aitor Karanka led his team to a 1-1 draw with Stoke City in the season opener last weekend.

Karanka says his team need to be wary of Defoe, Sunderland’s top scorer last season with 15 Premier League goals, when pursuing another positive result on Sunday.

“We need to keep focus on him,” Karanka told “You have to be concentrating 150%, for 95 minutes in the game.

“We need to know how good he is and know that he can’t be alone in the box.”

For all the team news ahead of Sunderland v Middlesbrough at 1:30pm BST on Sunday, click here.

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