Elliott Dickman believes the bar has been set and now it’s up to his players to reach those levels every week.
Sunderland under-23s return to action this Sunday, kick-off 12.30pm at the Stadium of Light, looking to build on their win over West Bromwich Albion.
Goals from Luke Molyneux, who has since joined Gateshead on loan, and Jack Diamond handed the Lads victory last Monday as they got their first points of the season on the board.
Speaking to safc.com, Dickman has admitted his players must now continue to reach those high levels in every game as they look to turn their season around.
“It has to be because that’s football,” he said.
“That’s the starting point and the line where you should be. The message after the game was that it has to be only the start.
“It is only the beginning because really we should’ve been doing this a few weeks earlier.
“There were bits in the Stoke game (at the start of the season) when we definitely did this, but it’s been tough, and we hadn’t really shown it again ‘til that West Brom match.
“Hopefully we can show that we can play football. It’s about making sure that we are more organised as a side, we are compact, hardworking and we make it difficult to break down.”
He continued: “Those messages are ones the players need to understand as soon as possible because it doesn’t matter what level of football you play at, it has to be a given.”
Entry to the game is free for Sunderland season card holders upon production of their valid 2018-19 season card.
Non-season card holders can also attend, with prices £3 for adults and £1 for over 65s and under 16s on entry.