Jack Ross has praised the 'incredible' form of Luton Town as Sunderland continue their promotion push.
The Black Cats currently sit third in League One, four points behind the top two of Barnsley and Luton Town, having played a game less than their promotion rivals.
And Ross is keen to praise the form of the two teams directly above his Sunderland side - which he believes indicates that the Wearsiders have had only a 'decent' campaign in the third tier.
“Luton’s form has been incredible," he admitted.
“When you’re in a league where the team at the top is in the best run of form in the club’s history, you have to hold your hands up, it’s unfortunate for us but there’s not a lot you can do about it.
“You can only play them twice and they’ve not beaten us, so we’re not a bad team.
“Barnsley’s [unbeaten] run, I don’t where it stands in terms of their history but it must be up there.
“Then you throw ours in there, which is December, it’s not bad, it just happens that there are other teams in the league [doing well].
“We talk about tracking points, if you look at other leagues [in the EFL], we would be there or thereabouts as well.
“It just shows that we’ve had a decent season, not an outstanding season, but a decent one.”
A draw at Barnsley leaves Sunderland somewhat reliant on other results in the final ten games of the campaign - but Ross insists it is 'dramatic' to say that his side's fate is out of their own hands.
With just under a quarter of the campaign still to play, he knows the Black Cats have positioned themselves well for a late promotion push.
“It goes without saying that I’d like to be where Luton are," added Ross.
“Where we are, it’s there or thereabouts.
“That’s the worst case scenario if you like, you want to be in a position where you have a chance of achieving promotion. It’s not a slim chance we have, it’s a good chance.
“We have to keep wininng games.
“I know people will look and say it’s out of our hands but it’s only really if there’s a game or two to go.
“Right now, it’s dramatic to say that, there’s so much of the season to play.
“Right now, we’re OK. We’ve kept ourselves consistently in and around a position where we can achieve success.
"That’s what we’ve had to do, we’ve had to dig in and we’ve done that.
“If you can win Saturday, you can go into the little break and then come out of it knowing, ‘here we go, nine games in a month that you can go at’.”