Chris Coleman believes teams above Sunderland are now anxiously looking over their shoulders as the Black Cats and other sides near the bottom scrap for survival.
Sunderland climbed out of the Championship drop zone with the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The ex-Wales boss has now taken charge of eight games and won three of them - Burton Albion, Fulham and Nottingham Forest.
Further points against Birmingham City and Wolves mean Coleman was won 11 points since taking charge, with three defeats to Aston Villa, Reading and Sheffield United.
Aiden McGeady’s header won the game for Sunderland at Forest, a much-needed one too given relegation rivals Birmingham City and Bolton both won, while Burton Albion, Barnsley and Hull City all drew.
There are now just four points separating the bottom six sides, while teams in lower mid-table are being dragged closer into the relegation mix.
A point not lost on Coleman.
He said: "It shows how competitive the league is.
"Teams above us will now be looking at us but also Burton, Barnsley, Bolton and Birmingham, even those teams six or seven points ahead of us.
"They will be looking at us. We are still looking both ways!
"All we can do is take care of our business and keep chipping away."