With three home games out of four Sky Bet Championship matches in October, boss Simon Grayson is keen to turn the tide on Sunderland's home form as well as their season.
Queens Park Rangers provide the first hurdle before the Black Cats' first capital trip next weekend sees them travel to Brentford.
Speaking to the press on Thursday afternoon, Grayson discussed the latest team news and provided his thoughts on the importance of having a good October...
INTERNATIONAL DUTY DONE AND DUSTED
SG: "It has been good and it came at a good point because it meant we could get some work into players who needed it. A few players have been carrying injuries so it gave us an opportunity to get them rested up. Obviously seven or eight players have been away on international duty so most of them reported back in a good state ready for this next batch of games."
DUNC GETTING CLOSER, McNAIR SET FOR ARSENAL TRIP
SG: "Duncan got another 45 minutes (against Hertha Berlin) and Paddy McNair made a successful return. With Paddy it is one that is going to be a little bit longer because of the time he has been out. That is great news for him (to be back) and scoring on his return was brilliant. Maja has returned to training and Lewis Grabban isn’t far away either. Some of the players who we are getting back will have a big impact on the squad. I’m not one for giving my team away but if it isn’t this weekend then I would expect a few to be closer to it the following week at Brentford. On Monday Paddy McNair will play at Arsenal to get some more game time down there but other than that it is nice to get some players back into the squad."
SG: "That is how I have to be as a manager. If I am moping around it doesn’t reflect well on the players and staff. We are all positive and we all think that we aren’t a million miles away from getting some real good results to get us up the table. I have always tried to create a positive attitude and mindset wherever I have gone and it is no different now. We are disappointed with the results that haven’t gone our way but things can change very quickly."
THE HOOPS HEAD NORTH
SG: "Ian (Holloway) will be kicking every ball on the touchline. He will have his team fired up. In the last few weeks he has played some different systems so we don’t really what to expect from them but what we will be expecting is a team that is hungry and desperate to do well."
BIG MONTH OF FOOTBALL ON WEARSIDE
SG: "We have got three home games this month that we need to be positive in them and get victories. We need to give our supporters something to cheer about. There would be no better thing to do that getting off to a good start this month with a win at home to QPR on Saturday. The supporters will play a very big part in all of this and we need to make sure we are giving them something to cheer about. We are all in this together and if we can win on Saturday it becomes a different environment for everybody."