SUNDERLAND’S players go into tomorrow’s game at Hull City knowing now that they have what it takes to climb the Premier League table.
That’s the view of head coach Gus Poyet, who wants last Sunday’s dramatic win over Newcastle to be a watershed moment in the Black Cats’ season.
And the Uruguayan insists that the players make the most of the winning mentality they enjoyed last weekend.
“The situation for us now is to grasp that we can win football matches – that we can win difficult football matches in this division,” said head coach Poyet, preparing to take charge of only his third Sunderland match.
“Games where there is pressure and tension, games where you have a disappointment such as an equaliser and games where it can be difficult coming to the end of the match – we can win those matches.
“We have shown that.
“And that is important for the belief of the players.
“It was difficult getting to this point – it took us too long – but now we have done it and must make the most of it.
“We know we are capable of getting good results in this division, with this team.
“We know we can have success playing a certain way and we know we have to build on that and improve.”
Poyet let his players have their heads in training early in the week, allowing them to enjoy the feel-good factor after the derby win.
But the end of the week has seen a knuckling down to focusing on the Hull match and he is determined that his side will not get caught cold after their big win.
“We work on these things normally during the week, on preparing the team,” added the former Brighton boss.
“The players will have a good idea of what to expect at Hull.
“We will work on things specifically for this game and then we need to pick the right team and play the right way on the day.
“We have to make sure that we go there with the mentality that we can win it – and then play the game itself and not allow ourselves to be distracted.”