Duncan Watmore has been impressed with new manager Simon Grayson and says the Black Cats boss has told him to focus on attacking the space behind opposition defences.
Watmore said: “He’s been great. I think all the lads would say that.
“For some reason, it hasn’t quite been the start we wanted. The transition has taken a while and we’re not in the place we should be, which goes without saying. From my experience of what I’ve seen of him and what the lads say everyone had a lot of time for the gaffer, he’s a really good guy to work for.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s been great with me. He’s been patient in terms of looking after my injury and he’s been talking to me about what he wants and the kind of things he wants to see from me.
“I like to run in behind, I like to stretch games and running and being direct are probably the main asset of my game. He’s just said keep doing that and if I do I’ll create chances.”
Watmore returns to a side struggling in the bottom three of the Championship, but says spirit in the group is good.
“Even though we’re not in a great place in the table I feel like mentally there is a good vibe around the place,” he said.
“Sometimes you’re losing and everything’s a disaster and there’s no way you can see any way out. It’s not like that at all.
“I feel like there’s a really good group of guys, everyone wants to work for each other and the manager and all the staff. I do feel like it’s a league where you can go on a run and get some confidence. That only comes by working hard, getting the basics right and grinding out results.
“The more you do that, the more confidence you have, the more momentum you have and the easier the results become. At this moment in time it’s not easy and you have tow work together and get the basics right. I think that’s what we’re trying to do, starting on Saturday and QPR.”