Aiden O'Brien lifts the lid on what the atmosphere in Sunderland's dressing room is really like
Aiden O’Brien believes Sunderland's ‘brilliant’ dressing room atmosphere can be key as the club look to secure promotion from League One.
The forward, who made his debut for the club at Gateshead on Saturday, has lifted the lid on the growing spirit in the halls of the Academy of Light.
O’Brien has seen first-hand how a united group of players can lead to success, having been part of a Millwall side that pulled together to win the League One play-offs in 2017.
And he believes that parallels can be drawn between the successful cohort at the Den and the current crop on Wearside.
“The key to success at any football club is the group lads in the dressing room and the coaching staff behind them,” he said.
"I think they have that [the spirit] in abundance here.
"It's exactly the same as the Millwall team that went up with me. We worked hard for each other, we were all together, there were no groups and it was one big family really - and that's what I've seen here in my first two or three weeks.
"It's brilliant and now I'm looking forward to the season.”
Sunderland still have two more friendlies and a Carabao Cup tie to play before League One begins on September 12, but O’Brien says that thoughts are already focused on the league – and achieving promotion at the third attempt.
"That's definitely the aim,” he admitted.
"All of us in this club definitely have in our thoughts that we want to get promoted this year.
"It's such a good team and they've been unlucky over the years, just missing out last year because of the COVID stuff.
"But this year, we're working hard on the training field, we're taking it seriously and we're looking sharp. We've got two more games before the season starts and we're in good stead. We're ready to go.”
O’Brien is set to to feature for Sunderland this afternoon when they welcome Carlisle United in their second pre-season friendly. The game will be played behind closed doors.