JACK COLBACK has stressed that Sunderland cannot afford to see moving out of the bottom three as mission accomplished.
The Black Cats ended their five-month stay in the relegation zone on Wednesday night after a nervy 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Stoke City.
But Sunderland, who lie just two points above the drop zone, realistically still need to win another four or five Premier League outings if they are to remain in the Premier League.
Midfielder Colback says the Black Cats need to keep their foot on the throttle in their charge up the table, particularly in tomorrow’s trip to St James’s Park as they look for a third successive derby victory over Newcastle United.
“It’s been a tough season for everyone involved, the fans included,” said Colback.
“But we’ve not done anything yet, we’ve not achieved anything – it’s very tight down there.
“We need to keep going.
“There’s obviously a massive game this weekend and then we’ll look to Hull after that.
“We’ve been doing well recently against Newcastle.
“The spirit is really good in the camp and there’s no better game to play next than this one after winning the last two.”
Colback expects an entirely different game on Tyneside after a nervy, error-ridden midweek victory over the Potters.
But after Sunderland beat one of their bottom-half rivals at the Stadium of Light for the first time in the league this season, the 24-year-old says the result was all that mattered.
“It was a huge win. We said beforehand this was the time we had to win a game,” he added.
“We’ve had a few home games that we were hoping to win, but we’d fallen short.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we got the win which was the most important thing.
“We could have won in a better way, but, in the situation we’re in, it’s all about getting the three points.
“If we had been mid-table playing that game, it probably would have been a lot different. We’d have been more confident going forwards.
“But it’s all about winning in this situation, and we’ve managed to get out of the bottom three for the first time in a long while so we need to continue that.”
* Don’t miss tomorrow’s derby special Football Echo – it’s online from around 7pm with the biggest and best coverage of the big day