David Moyes wants his side looking up, not down, with the Sunderland boss targeting teams in mid-table.
Sunderland have been in the bottom three since September’s home defeat to Everton but they have the chance to finally climb out today at Swansea City.
I don’t see why not, why we wouldn’t be thinking that we can’t get amongst the teams above us.
Third-bottom Sunderland are a point from safety and could climb as high as 15th should they win and other results go their way.
The squad has been in high spirits since beating Leicester City and the 53-year-old Scot has challenged his players to aim high.
“I agree, there has been a change,” said Moyes, when asked about a change in mentality.
“If you’d said a month ago we would win three out of four games I don’t think there would be many people who would agree.
“We have to keep this run going as long as we can.
“If we can’t, then we are going to have to have two or three of these spells over the season if we are to give ourselves a realistic chance of being a Premier League club.
“If we can win against Swansea then I want us to look towards the middle of the table.
“I don’t see why not, why we wouldn’t be thinking that we can’t get amongst the teams above us.
“I want to make sure we crawl before we can walk.
“We are only just crawling at the moment but we are just beginning to get our feet and hopefully we can keep it going.
“I always thought to give ourselves a realistic chance we are going to have to be on the coat tails of the other teams going into January.
“We think we are doing great but we are also mindful of saying ‘hey, we don’t want this to turn the other way’.
“We are trying to keep a bit of a balance. The one thing I will say is the players have trained really well and look confident.
“We go into this game as good as we have done.
“I hope that confidence isn’t lost in some way and that we can show it.”
Sunderland started on the front foot against Leicester, dominating the opening 30 minutes.
Moyes wants to see the same again at the Liberty Stadium.
“I hope the players realised the difference, to be on the front foot and get ourselves a good start,” he added.
“What we are looking to do is to keep Swansea in there and drag in a few more teams in and around us.
“Whatever happens won’t decide who stays up and who goes down but we understand how important it is.”