to the North East.
“Our performance was good without having the last bit. I’ve always been happy with how the players have responded. I thought they were good tonight apart from the opening period. It was always going to be a tough part of the game, the first part, so we’ve got a bit more to do in the second leg,” he added.
“Sunderland came out of the blocks as we expected, and I have to give them credit. They’ve done better tonight as well, but I thought that after the first 15 minutes, we bossed the game.
“Really, the big thing is how good the supporters were tonight. I need to say thanks to them all, the support was brilliant tonight; they backed both me and the team. They know we’re going through a difficult time, they probably haven’t seen it as bad as this for a long time, but I’m determined to put it right.
“Five thousand fans came up tonight and were fantastic throughout the game. I think they recognised how well their team had done for the most part of the game, apart from the free-kick and the opening 15 minutes. The way they supported me and the way they supported the club was nothing short of exceptional.”
Moyes also commented on two decisions by the match officials, which he felt cost his side.