Grant Leadbitter's message to Sunderland squad following Bristol Rovers win
Grant Leadbitter believes Sunderland have learnt from their recent run of draws, following Saturday's victory over Bristol Rovers.
The Black Cats moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places following a 2-0 win at Memorial Stadium, their second victory in a week after taking all thee points against Gillingham on Tuesday night.
Prior to that, Jack Ross' side had drawn six of their previous seven league fixtures, but Leadbitter, who joined the Wearsiders last month, is confident the squad is making progress.
"In those games I think our performances have been good," said Leadbitter.
"We've conceded early goals and after we've conceded against these teams, against the run of play, we've kind of looked all over the place for 10 or 15 minutes.
Newcastle United suffering mini-defensive ‘injury crisis’ ahead of clash against Manchester City
Christian Pulisic transfer preference 'revealed' as Newcastle and Man United eye Chelsea star
Joao Pedro sell-on clause revealed as Newcastle United close in on Watford forward
Newcastle United ‘offered’ chance to sign PSG star as Manchester United ‘join race’ for Chelsea winger
Ex-referee delivers Newcastle United verdict on Callum Wilson's disallowed goal v Brighton
"That's what we need to learn, young players, we're learning on the job and experienced players have got to help them out.
"I think today you saw for 90 minutes we controlled the whole game."
Leadbitter also believes the hectic League One schedule has been difficult to manage, with several new players coming in last month.
The midfielder, 33, has started every game after re-signing for the Black Cats from Middlesbrough in January, that's six games in 22 days.
"When you've got games Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday Tuesday, it's tough," added Leadbitter, who had played just two league games for Boro this season before moving to the Stadium of Light.
"The intensity is good because everyone wants to beat Sunderland football club, we're a big football club.
"Credit to the players because they've only lost two games all season and that's a big thing.
Sunderland now have a full week to prepare for next Saturday's home clash with Plymouth Argyle, ahead of another meeting with Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.
"It's a good chance to get a good weeks training into us, we come in Monday and forget about today," added Leadbitter.
"We train hard Monday, Tuesday and get ready for Saturday."