Never let it be said that Sunderland players are not behind manager David Moyes.
Because Victor Anichebe went through the pain barrier for his club and his boss on Saturday.
The former Everton and West Brom striker scored a vital equaliser for the Black Cats at Bournemouth, before staying on the pitch until the final whistle, working his socks off, despite breaking a bone in his chest.
“We did this for the manager,” an out-of-breath Anichebe told Sky Sports after his side’s 2-1 win saw them pick up maximum points for the first time this season.
“Over he last few weeks we have not done him justice. It has been a huge transition from last year to this one. For all the work the manager has done, this one was for him. He is the one who has been getting the blame, even though we are the ones on the pitch.
“You could see by the reaction at the final whistle. We have wanted this result for so long. It was a must win game, even when we were down to 10 men, we didn’t sulk we ground it out.
“The first half I cracked my rib, I couldn’t move properly.”
Sunderland’s energy levels were incredible at the Vitality Stadium, where they had to play for much of the second period with 10 men after Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow card – an subsequently a red – on 59 minutes.
Dan Gosling had given Bournemouth a 1-0 lead on 11 minutes, before Anichebe levelled the scores just after the half-hour mark.
Sunderland’s winner actually came after they were down to 10 men.
Anichebe was fouled by Adam Smith in the penalty area and up stepped Jermain Defoe to fire home the spot-kick with 16 minutes remaining.