George Honeyman says Sunderland will relish the opportunity to get on the front foot at the Stadium of Light this season.
The Black Cats have suffered on home turf in recent seasons but Simon Grayson’s attacking line-up led to an exciting contest against Derby County on Friday.
Grayson’s side managed 20 shots and ought to have scored more, particularly in an impressive first half.
The attendance was just under 30,000, but the atmopshere was superb and Honeyman relished in it on the right flank.
Honeyman said: “We’ve got to get used to not being the underdogs in every game, that’ll be a process.
“But it’s good, yeah – the lads loved the atmosphere and loved the game. If we keep playing like that we know they will keep coming.
“The crowd love hard work, attacking and competitive games, that’s what we gave them. With this manager, that’s what we will give them every week.
“Hopefully they’ll keep coming in their droves and we can climb up the table.”
One of the main frustrations in recent campaigns has been Sunderland’s regular implosions at home, so Honeyman was buoyed by his side’s fightback after Bradley Johnson opened the scoring.
He said: “One of the big positives was going behind early on and not letting that affect us. Last year and other seasons, we’ve conceded one we’ve conceded three.
“It was good to stay solid and grow back into the game. If we can do that throughout the season we’ll give ourselves one hell of a chance.”
Honeyman impressed after surprisingly being selected ahead of Tunisian Wahbi Khazri. The 22-year-old is hoping for a significant role this season after impressing Grayson with his work ethic and industry.
“It’s not like the gaffer is doing me any favours, I think I’ve deserved to start. It does give you that lift, that trust he’s placed in you.
“I was playing at the back end of last year and I thought I did myself no harm in terms of staying in the team, but, with the change of manager, as a young player you never know if it is case of starting from scratch.
“The manager has been really good in pre-season. I’ve played as much as anyone, when I was in the team, it is just about staying in it now.”