Hard work on the training pitch and reassurance from the manager helped Sunderland end a three-game winless run against Rochdale, according to top scorer Josh Maja.
The Black Cats' top scorer, 19, scored twice as Jack Ross' side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at the Stadium of Light yesterday.
And following last week's defeat at Burton Albion, Sunderland's first in the league this campaign, Maja believes his side delivered the perfect response.
"It was a great win coming off the back of a loss, we worked hard as a team in training and that showed today on the pitch," Maja told safc.com.
"It just shows the character we've got in the team. The manager put his faith in us as a team and he wants us to play well and that's what we did today."
Maja has now scored seven times in the league but is more concerned about winning games, rather than his individual tally.
In the absence of Charlie Wyke, Maja has carried the burden up front and will have to continue his fine form following Wyke's long-term knee injury.
However, the teenager rose to the challenge once again yesterday, as his latest goals helped Sunderland remain unbeaten at the Stadium of Light.
A total of 28,764 watched yesterday's win, and Maja believes the fans' support, both home and away, will be vital this campaign.
"It's great for the fans and great for the club and we just have to try and maintain that," said the forward.
Sunderland will be heavily back for next weekend's televised match at Coventry, and Black Cats supporters have already snapped up their full allocation of 4,900 away tickets.
"It will be a tough game but if we've got the fans then I think we'll get the win," added Maja, who is also the division's top goal scorer alongside Peterborough's Matt Godden.