Jeremain Lens says Sunderland have to ensure a point against Swansea proves to be the start of their season, rather than a false dawn.
Sunderland broke their duck for 2015-16 by coming from behind to secure a draw against in-form Swansea on Saturday after Dick Advocaat’s side produced a vastly-improved display of tenacity and commitment.
Everybody has got a better feeling about this game and we need to keep this spiritJeremain Lens
Summer signing Lens hopes that proves to be a sign of things to come for next weekend’s trip to Aston Villa, yet he is wary of making any bold predictions after the manner of Sunderland’s opening two games.
Lens said: “Yes, I think we need to be careful to say things like ‘it’s the start of our season’ because if we get a bad result at Aston Villa, then we start all over again.
“But of course, everybody has got a better feeling about this game and we need to keep this spirit.
“We got one point and we performed better than the previous two so I’m happy with the that. Hopefully we will do the same in the next game.
“We gave the supporters something to cheer about and they deserved that.
“If we do the same as we did on Saturday, I think we can win games.
“But it feels like a start, yes.”
Before the trip to Villa, Sunderland host League Two Exeter City tomorrow night in the Capital One Cup second round.
Lens, part of the Sunderland side which lost to League One Doncaster in pre-season, said: “As we showed in pre-season, it can be difficult to play against lower teams.
“But we want to win every game - it doesn’t matter if that’s against a lower or higher team.”
Lens is clearly beginning to adapt to the Premier League after his £8million summer move from Dynamo Kiev, with the Dutch international putting Swansea right-back Kyle Naughton on the ropes in the latter stages.
He also had a hand in Jermain Defoe’s equaliser, which saw Sunderland cancel out Bafetimbi Gomis’ opener on the stroke of half-time.
“While I enjoy scoring, I get just as much satisfaction from assists,” he added.
“It’s my second assist this season, so I’m happy with that.
“Hopefully I can score goals by myself as well.”