Promotion-chasing Sunderland have closed the gap on League One leaders Portsmouth and Jack Ross says there is a growing belief within his squad.
Ross has eyes on winning the title, with promotion the ultimate aim for Sunderland following back-to-back relegations.
In-form Sunderland beat Doncaster Rovers 1-0 last night, their third straight away win, to move within five points of Pompey, who dropped two points at home thanks to a 2-2 draw with Burton Albion.
Confidence and belief within the Sunderland camp is growing, with the Black Cats backed by 4,000 fans at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Sunderland also have a game in hand on Pompey and Peterborough United in second.
When asked if it was important to get into the top two sooner rather than later, Ross said: “The tracker in terms of where we need to be and points wise concerns me more, ultimately the table is only important on the last day of the season.
“We are in a good place, we are on a good run, the belief is growing.
“To lose only one game in 14 is good, we keep banging these results out, especially back to back away games.
“If you asked anyone in the dressing room they won’t be concerned about it at the moment, they believe they will get there and sooner rather than later if they keep doing the things they are doing at the moment.
“Any team that is successful, I mean even the best teams, often only the real flashy performances are remembered, the gritty ones are usually forgotten about but the reality is there will be a lot of them along the way to win a title.
“When you create that mentality it is a massive thing, the belief is growing that they won’t get beat only because they are doing the right things.
“It is growing, it was evident against Doncaster because we knew it would be a tough game.”
Sunderland have only lost one game in the league.
“We spoke pre-season about making winning League One the most important thing you can do in your career.
“I have players that have done more than that and might go on to do more than that but for the here and now that has to be the case.
“The players are enjoying winning, the challenge that faces them every away game and home games too. They are responding to it. It is a happy group in there, they are loving the feeling of winning games, and in that manner.
“It was tough, it showed how much they enjoyed it.”
Chris Maguire was the hero for Sunderland, the forward netting his fourth in a fiercely competitive game, Ten bookings were dished out, four to Sunderland and six to Doncaster.
Ross is pleased his side are coping well with the physical and competitive nature of the third tier.
“We are getting better at dealing with that side of the game,” said Ross.
“We had to mention discipline at half-time as we had a number of players cautioned in the first half.
“I will never criticise players for being competitive and looking after each other, they are getting better at that and getting better at being within the guidelines. There was no silliness, there was commitment, on both sides.
“I had no issue with any of their tackles, it was a properly competitive game.”