Sunderland boss reveals what he told Manchester United loanee Adnan Januzaj to spark upturn in form

Adnan Januzaj
Adnan Januzaj

David Moyes has backed Adnan Januzaj to become a match-winner for Sunderland after a string of improved performances.

The Belgian playmaker endured a difficult start to his season-long loan spell on Wearside.

But after being challenged to prove he is a top-class talent, the Manchester United man produced his best display yet against Chelsea before playing a key role in the win over Watford in a more central position.

Moyes has revealed the 21-year-old’s body language can sometimes give the impression he isn’t running as hard as others.

The 53-year-old says he has “great belief” in Januzaj and has backed him to make a big impact for Sunderland.

“I told him he had to look as if he was running a bit harder,” said Moyes.

“Sometimes his body language gives you the feeling that he’s not. But he’s capable of winning games, he’s not quite doing it yet, but I have great belief he will.

“He’s got the ability to do it and score goals, he had a couple of one against one opportunities, instances you feel you would fancy to get in a shot.”

Sunderland travel to Old Trafford on Boxing Day but due to the terms of his loan deal, Januzaj will be unable to face his parent club.

Third-bottom Sunderland head into the festive clash boosted by the 1-0 win over Watford.

Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner four minutes into the second half, his third of the season.

Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe are the only other Premier League goalscorers for Sunderland this season - a stat Moyes is looking to change quickly.

Januzaj has only scored once this season, the winning goal against Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Cup.

Throughout his career so far at Manchester United - and Borussia Dortmund on loan last season - Januzaj has never been prolific with only six goals to his name.

But Moyes believes he is more than capable off improving his goal threat when he returns to the Sunderland side.

Moyes added: “I thought Adnan played really well in the game against Chelsea, that was one of his best games so far.

“He has got a bit fitter and he needs a bit of encouragement as well.

“He had a chance against Chelsea which he could have scored, although it was a good save.

“I need Adnan, Fabio Borini, Victor and Jermain, those are the players that need to get us the goals.

“We need to stop them at the other end but those are the ones that we need to get us the goals.

“Jermain has a very good record but if he doesn’t score then who can win us a game with another one?”