JACK COLBACK has warned that Sunderland face a resurgent Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park tonight.
But the midfielder believes the Black Cats have proved with their last two performances on the road that they have the steel to contain determined hosts.
Sunderland face their fourth away outing in five tonight as they look to regain eighth spot after being overhauled by Swansea at the weekend.
While the first of that sequence of games on their travels produced a surrender at West Brom, Sunderland battled doggedly with 10 men at Newcastle and then ended a run of four successive defeats at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Colback realises they will need to continue that resilience at Ewood Park, with Blackburn three points clear of the bottom three after being cast adrift at the basement at the turn of the year.
“Obviously Blackburn have started to grind out a few results recently and got themselves out of the bottom three,” said Colback.
“We know what they’ll be about, but we’ll look to try to exploit their weaknesses.
“We’re on a good run and we’ll look to keep that going.
“The majority of games we’ve played this season have been tough. You don’t get anything for free in this league.
“As much as we’d hoped to have beaten Newcastle, it was a good away draw and a good draw at Everton too.
“We’ll look to tonight and then focus on QPR on Saturday.”
No side outside the top six has scored as many as Blackburn this season, with 13-goal former Middlesbrough hitman Yakubu boasting the fifth best scoring record in the top flight.
But Colback is confident Sunderland’s frugal defence can contain Steve Kean’s side, with John O’Shea and Michael Turner forming an increasingly impressive central defensive partnership.
Colback said: “The main reason we’ve got ourselves up the league and won games we would have lost beforehand, is by showing a lot more resilience at the back.
“We are hard to beat and hard to break down and we’ve got that quality going forward where we can hurt teams.
“We’ve shown that with the 1-0 wins we’ve got.
“There’s a good atmosphere around the dressing room at the moment, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
“Last season, we were doing well, then lost a few and we ended up dropping down the league.”