Sunderland have been handed a major psychological boost by lifting themselves off the bottom of the Premier League in time for Christmas, believes David Moyes ahead of his return to Old Trafford.
Moyes takes his Sunderland squad to Manchester United on Boxing Day looking to build on the 1-0 win over Watford.
Victory over the Hornets saw Sunderland rise to third-bottom and to within a point of Crystal Palace ahead of the festive fixtures.
“It’s a big thing for us,” said Moyes, when asked about lifting themselves off the bottom.
“We’ve got back in contact, we’ve won three out of four home games so that sounds better.
“It’s what you hope you will get.
“If we have that sort of record from now until the end of the season it will give us a great chance of achieving our number one priority, remaining in the Premier League.”
Sunderland have enjoyed a mini-revival since the start of November, with three wins out of four games before back-to-back defeats to Swansea City and Chelsea.
Those defeats made Watford a must-win. And Sunderland duly obliged thanks to Patrick van Aanholt’s 49th minute winner.
“Yeah [we’re improving],” said Moyes after four wins in seven Premier League games.
“There’s other bits that we need to improve but the most important thing is that our winning has improved.
“We played well against Leicester, there have been some games that I’ve not been so keen on and Watford was one of them and I’d like to play better but the win was really important and we have to take the wins over the performances.
On his return to Old Trafford, Moyes added: “We needed to win the Watford game because the other matches are hard ones. But we’ve been not bad away from home in a lot of the games, so hopefully we can do it again.”