Sunderland’s goalscorers Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe dedicated the club’s first league victory of the season to manager David Moyes.
The Scot was in the stands, serving a one-match suspension, as he watched his 10 men win 2-1 at Bournemouth.
“This is for the manager and fans, who are unbelievable,” said Defoe who scored the winner from the spot.
Anichebe added: “He’s the one who has been getting the blame, even though we are the ones on the pitch.”
Unwanted record broken
Sunderland were the only club in the top four English divisions not to have recorded a league win this season
The striker, who played under Moyes at Everton, said: “You could see by the reaction at the final whistle, we have wanted this result for so long. It was a must-win game and even when we were down to 10 men, we didn’t sulk we grinded it out.”
The Nigerian forward equalised in the first half after Dan Gosling had give the Cherries an early lead. However, the Wearsiders found themselves down to 10 men when midfielder Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow card in the 59th minute.
Sunderland continued to press after the break and won a penalty when Anichebe was fouled by Adam Smith. Defoe fired in against his former club in the 74th minute and the visitors survived late pressure to secure a valuable three points.
They remain bottom of the table but are now only five points shy of 17th place West Brom.
“It is a big relief – I never had any questions over the support of the owner or board,” said Moyes.