Middlesbrough helps survival bid with win over Sunderland

MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) " Middlesbrough sent Sunderland closer to relegation and helped its own faint hopes of survival with its first Premier League win in more than four months on Wednesday.

Marten de Roon put the ball through goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's legs after eight minutes to earn a 1-0 victory over last-place Sunderland, which hadn't won since Dec. 17.

"The second half wasn't as fluent and eye-catching as we would have liked, but we showed the grit and the determination and the spirit to see the game through," Middlesbrough manager Steve Agnew said.

Middlesbrough is six points behind 17th-place Hull with four games to go to stay in the Premier League. Sunderland is 12 points adrift of safety with five games remaining, although it has a game in hand over Hull.

Sunderland supporters sang "We want Moyesy out" at the Riverside Stadium, adding to the heat on manager David Moyes, who was charged by the Football Association earlier Wednesday for comments to a female reporter.

"I'm here, I'm the manager, you take it on the chin," Moyes said in response to calls from fans for him to leave. "There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I'm not used to losing and I don't want to get used to it either.

"I'm a football supporter. I know what it's like. You don't like seeing your team lose."

Sunderland players were greeted with a chorus of "You're not fit to wear the shirt" on the final whistle.

"While there's a chance, I've got to keep going and we've all got to keep going," Moyes said. "We are not enjoying it, we are not enjoying losing or the position we are in. Criticism is rightly due, but I wouldn't do it on tonight's performance. The players have stuck at it and have shown they are capable of trying to get points."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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