Simon Grayson is aiming to bring the feelgood factor back to Sunderland – as they look to end a winless streak at home stretching back almost NINE months.
Sunderland haven’t tasted victory on home soil since December 17 last year, when they beat Watford 1-0 in the Premier League.
Following the international break, the Black Cats return to Championship action against Sheffield United on Saturday and come kick-off at the Stadium of Light it will be 266 days since their last home win.
Grayson is desperate to end that miserable statistic as he strives to see Sunderland climb up the league table – starting with back-to-back home games against the newly-promoted fBlades ollowed by Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
“Hopefully we can get that feelgood factor. We’re trying to create that atmosphere,” said Grayson.
“I said from day one that I wanted the players to come to work and enjoy themselves, and work together with everyone from my staff to the tea lady to the cleaners, and build an affiliation with the supporters, because we are all in it together.
“We all feel defeat, but we all feel the excitement and the buzz when we win a game.
“It’s a small step that we’ve taken so far, but hopefully further down the line we want everyone to be buzzing home and away and getting results week-in and week-out.”
So far at the Stadium of Light this season, Sunderland have drawn with Derby County before a 2-0 defeat to Leeds United.
Goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter, one of 10 new faces, is expected to retain his place and he knows the importance of securing that first home win.
“Absolutely the first home win is important,” said Ruiter.
“I have played a couple of games but all away and I am looking forward to playing in our beautiful stadium, to show the home fans what I can do.
“As a team, in training I see some terrific things, and if we play like we can then we will enjoy the game and make the crowd proud of us – that is our main goal.”