Tony Mowbray's revealing message to Sunderland squad ahead of Huddersfield Town
Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray is well aware of the need to get his side back to winning ways but remains confident that there are exciting days ahead this season.
The Black Cats brought a stop to their losing run with a solid 1-1 draw at Luton Town, and travel to Huddersfield Town eager to extend what is currently a four-point gap to the relegation zone. In the longer run, Mowbray is relishing the chance to work with players like Ross Stewart and Daniel Ballard after the World Cup break.
"It gives me some confidence to be honest, that we're going to be fine,” he said.
"The league is ridiculous at the moment but I do feel when I watch us that we're going to be fine, as long as we keep the belief and the confidence, keep moving the ball and creating chances. If we do that we'll win enough games, whether it's enough games to catch the top teams we would have to wait and see.
"I do think we've got enough to win matches, it's just whether we can find that consistent spell. The season is so up and down for everyone, not just us. You look at Norwich, who looked like they were the top team again and then lost four on the bounce I think, before getting a really good win. Burnley are on a great run but what if they have a few halves like the first one against us? So for us we have to keep going, and when the strikers are back, big centre-halves who can compete with the opposition at set plays, we could have a hell of a team who can move it at pace. I think that'll be daunting for teams, we just haven't been able to put it together yet."
Jack Clarke's suspension will likely bring Jewison Bennette back into the squad as Sunderland's summer signings move closer to regular starts: "It's a fine balance for me at the moment, between throwing the kids in and giving them that chance, because the league is so tight and we have to win games.
"It is a balance between giving these players game time and putting a team out there that despite a lack of strikers can still have the firepower to win games.
"Jack Clarke has been one of those players, he has been a real threat for us this year and we have to find a solution. I'm sure our supporters understand where we are at this moment, I know that they want to win every game and we aim to do that, but it's another big player unavailable.
"But we're going there to impose ourselves, to give our very best and to hopefully come away with three points.
"You have to be mindful to rotate but not weaken the team too much. Young players who haven’t had much game time are making more obvious starting positions. The good thing for me is I think these lads are just about ready where I can start them.
“I think the next phase for them is to maybe start a game and if they are struggling at half-time, we can bring them off. Or if they can get an hour we can work them up a full 90 minutes.”