Brentford boss Dean Smith insists struggling Sunderland are a dangerous opponent and must be respected, despite their lowly league position.
The two sides meet this afternoon at Griffin Park (KO 3pm) and Smith is wary of the attacking threat within Sunderland’s ranks.
Sunderland, with just one win in 12 games, are 23rd in the Championship but Smith says his Brentford side - who sit five places and four points above Sunderland - won’t be taking anything for granted.
“They won’t enjoy, the big club that they are, being in the bottom three,” said Smith.
“However, it is early days and we have seen what Simon Grayson can do at this level.
“On paper, they have got very good players: Lewis Grabban, James Vaughan, and Jonny Williams are all quality players.
“We will certainly respect them. You are not given anything in this league, you have to earn it. Simon knows that and he knows how to get the best out of players.
“Sunderland’s position doesn’t give us any right to do anything. We ask the fans not to be expectant but to get behind us from the start.
“Hopefully we can all do this together and work to climb the table,” added Smith. His side beat Millwall 1-0 last weekend to secure their first home win of the season.
The Bees’ early season has been plagued by illness and injury but having welcomed back Lasse Vibe after two months, Smith is hopeful of having more options for the visit of Sunderland.
He added: “Kamo Mokotjo is back after illness.
“Henrik Dalsgaard played the game but we gave him a couple of days off as he was feeling the effects of not eating or drinking for a couple of days prior to the game. Other than that, we have everybody training with us apart from Rico Henry and Alan Judge.
“Lewis Macleod has been back with us for a while and Sergi Canos has been back with us for the past ten days.
“We have a number of players back fighting for positions.”