Jason Denayer has backed David Moyes’ belief that home form will be key to Sunderland’s Premier League destiny.
The Black Cats made a wretched start to life at the Stadium of Light this campaign, failing to get a win from games against Middlesbrough, West Brom and Crystal Palace.
However, they have since stemmed the losses and have now lost just one in six league games, and that came against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. They could have had a point from that, too, had Thibaut Courtois not pulled off a flying save from Patrick van Aanholt in the final minutes.
Sunderland have landed some crucial wins against teams in the bottom half at home in recent weeks and Denayer says there is confidence that they can continue that form against Stoke tomorrow.
The Potters have improved from a dreadful start to the season but still only occupy 11th place.
Denayer said: “I think it’s easier to play and get good results at home – I think the expectation of the coach was right. We feel more confident at home. Every game is important, we need to be fit, so we need to recover well and try to do our best.”
Sunderland’s FA Cup draw with Burnley last week was hardly a classic, but it was another game unbeaten at home, and a clean sheet.
The Belgian underlined the importance of that, and said the rather more subdued atmosphere was down to the poor football on show.
He said: “It was important for us. [The lack of atmosphere] was just the game.”