Jason Steele has admitted his performance against Derby County couldn't have been worse than his Sunderland debut.
The Black Cats goalkeeper endured a tough first game after his £500,000 move from Blackburn Rovers, conceding five goals against Celtic in the Stadium of Light's 20th anniversary game.
Steele was arguably at fault for at least two of them, but bounced back well against Derby last night in the Championship opener.
The ex-Middlesbrough man made a couple of good saves in the 1-1 despite a number of nervy moments early on.
On how it compared to the Celtic game, he told the club's website: "It couldn't have been worse, to be fair.
"It was tough. Without making excuses, I didn't even know half the lads and I'd only trained for 20 minutes."
Steele has a wealth of Championship experience and says the one thing he has told the Sunderland squad - many of whom haven't played at this level before - is the need for squad togetherness.
The 26-year-old was impressed, therefore, with the fighting spirit Sunderland showed after going behind to an early goal, before Lewis Grabban's penalty earned them a deserved point.
Steele added: "Over the course of the game I think we deserved to nick it but first game of the season, you're half making sure you don't lose it, especially when you go a goal down.
"I haven't been at the club long but from what I can gather from the lads when we've gone 1-0 down at home it's been tough.
"The spirit we showed was different class. The attitude was only a positive
"As soon as I came in it was something I drilled into the lads. I think in this league, you need have a squad of lads who are willing to go to the well for each other time and again. It's not the prettiest but we're here to win and here to fight for each other."