SIMON MIGNOLET believes Norwich’s well-oiled machine provides a sterner test than more high-profile opponents.
The newly-promoted Canaries have defied pre-season predictions of a relegation struggle, with Paul Lambert’s men lying comfortably in the top half of the table – 11 points clear of the bottom three.
Norwich can boast few established Premier League players after Lambert recruited largely from the Championship and League One during the summer.
But Sunderland discovered the threat of Norwich’s organisation and determination to prove themselves in the top flight, when they suffered a dismal defeat at Carrow Road in September.
Black Cats goalkeeper Mignolet told the Echo: “Sometimes it’s more difficult to beat a team like Norwich than one with superstars.
“When a team works together and are all going for the same aim, they’re tough to play against.
“It was a difficult game down at Norwich, but that’s in the past – we have to look forward to tonight’s game.
“It’s a totally different game at home and hopefully we can get another good result on the board.
“Norwich are just one place above us and if you’re in that position halfway through the season after coming out of the Championship, you’ve shown you’re a decent side.
“It wasn’t an easy game for us down there and we didn’t play at our best level. But, on the other hand, they’re a decent side.
“The games are coming quickly now. It’s an important game tonight and if we can win, we could go up to eighth, which is a big incentive for us.”