Simon Grayson has challenged his players to build on a positive start to the season when they travel to Norwich City on Sunday.
Like Sunderland, the Canaries drew their opening game of the season before progressing in the Carabao Cup.
And like Sunderland, Daniel Farke’s side are itching for their first league win of the season.
Grayson, though, is focussed on his players and speaking ahead of the game he urged them to maintain the standards they’ve set.
“We need to build on the two results we have had so far, and keep going along in a positive manner.
“We’re in a good state of mind at the moment, given the way that we’ve played and the results we have had.”
He continued: “I think they probably underachieved last year with the parachute payments they received and the Premier League players they have got.
“We’re going to go there and respect the opposition, but ultimately to do whatever is required to get a good result.
“There is a hardcore of British players that we know about and that were at Norwich last year, but certainly new players have come in.
“Against Fulham last weekend, he started with three centre-backs, changed at half-time, and then went to a back four on Tuesday night in the cup against Swindon Town.
“So we’re a little bit in the dark about what system he will play, but really we need to concentrate on what we need to do.”