Simon Grayson remains convinced Sunderland are close to transforming their season – and says they should take a leaf out of high-flying Sheffield United’s book.
The under-pressure boss has only overseen one league win ahead of Saturday’s visit of Bristol City to the Stadium of Light.
Lewis Grabban’s brace put Sunderland in a commanding position against Brentford but their 3-1 half-time lead was whittled away.
That point extended the unbeaten run to three but the desperate need a win is focusing the mind of Grayson, who hopes his side can take inspiration from the Blades.
Promoted last season from League One, Chris Wilder’s side are third having won four from five.
Grayson said: “I’ve said to a few people if we’d been in Sheff United’s position in Saturday’s game they would have seen it out because they’ve got a winning mentality, they know how to win games and how to manage games.
“When you lose games it’s a difficult cycle to break. We’ve got to get over that hurdle and do what’s required to win. That will give us more confidence and belief going into the Bolton game.
“Frustrating is the word we would all use because I keep saying I see them on a daily basis and I don’t think we’re a million miles away from turning the corner.
“I think on Saturday there was some real good stuff at times and some average stuff that we know we have to improve.
“We need to put together a performance over the course of 90 minutes to give us the opportunity to win a game. Let’s hope that starts at the weekend.”
Sunderland have picked up points against Preston North End, QPR and Brentford but three straight draws has left fans frustrated at more dropped points.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Grayson, when asked whether it would have been better to have won one and lost two.
“The win gives you the belief and confidence but three undefeated against three decent teams is giving you a bit more belief that we’re progressing well – we’re not getting beaten and we’re putting in decent performances.
“If we keep doing that, a victory isn’t far away.”
For many, the upcoming home double header feels like a crucial week for Sunderland and Grayson.
Grayson added: “I think we’re going into the game with a reasonable confidence, the performances have been encouraging.
“As a manager you have to look for the positives all the time, what we’ve got to do is keep believing in what we’re doing, a couple of victories shoots you up the table and if we can put some decent performances and results together we’ll get the momentum we need.”