Jack Ross is confident that his Sunderland side are on the verge of a strong run of form as they prepare to take on Shrewsbury Town.
While the Black Cats have lost just once in League One this season, they have struggled to string together a run of victories having been forced to settle for draws on several occasions.
But Ross feels that now his team has acclimatised to the league, they can start stringing together some wins - starting with the trip to Shrewsbury.
And the Scot has also revealed how his backroom staff are monitoring Sunderland's promotion hopes by comparing their fortunes to those in similar positions last season.
“We’ve got a really good diagram [at the Academy of Light] that tracks where a couple of the teams were last season,” Ross said,
“One of them is Blackburn, who finished second and nearly won the title, and the other finished in the play-offs. Where we are at the moment is pretty much bang in the middle of them.
“What you can see is that Blackburn had that real upward trajectory a couple of times. So you need to go on that run [of wins] at some point.
“I do think we’re on the cusp of it, how we’re growing as a squad, we’re getting better, dealing with the league better."
That excuse of not dealing with third tier football was one thrown about during the early weeks of the season and not without cause, given that it was Sunderland's first spell in third tier for three decades.
But now, Ross is keen for that reasoning to be retired as his side look to maintain their promotion push.
“I think we’re way beyond that now,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever used that as an excuse as to why we haven’t won a game. For me now, 12 games in, we have a proper understanding of the league.
“There’s been a period of transition I think for the players, in terms of the intensity of the games. I think Burton was a bit of a watershed for in terms of us not dealing very well with some things, which we’ve been so much better at since.
“I think as a team and me as a manager, we should just be judged as normal now. I think that period has long gone now.”