Robbin Ruiter says Sunderland are growing in confidence ahead of a crucial game against Fulham.
The Black Cats need to win to avoid going a full year without a win at the Stadium of Light.
Ruiter kept his second clean sheet in four games under Chris Coleman against Wolves and says that performance with 10 men showed the squad they can bounce back from setbacks.
A win against Slavisa Jokanovic’s side on Saturday could lift Sunderland out of the relegation zone.
Ruiter said: “It’s a big game but every game for us is a big game for us at the moment.
“We have grown as a team and our self-confidence is growing and we play better week after week.
“Sometimes the only way is not up. Sometimes we will fall down but we stand up again and that was really important for us at Wolves.
“At Molineux we showed what we can do and what we’re capable of and I think on the ball we can still improve a lot but if we can give the same fighting spirit we will be all right at Sunderland.”
Under Coleman, Sunderland’s defensive record has improved, despite the disappointing defeat to Reading, with the Black Cats no longer having the worst record in the league.
Ruiter says securing more clean sheets will be crucial – and improvement in that department has been vital.
He said: “That was necessary. We’re all really happy with the clean sheets. If you keep a clean sheet you only need one goal and if you don’t, if you’re conceding three or four goals you’ve got to score three, four or five goals.
“That’s was one of the most important things and hopefully we can continue to keep clean sheets.”