Jack Ross is under no illusions about the size of the task his side are faced with this weekend when they take on newly promoted Luton Town.
After last Saturday’s emotional stoppage-time winner against Charlton Athletic, Ross is geared up for another big test as the Lads hit the road for the first time this season.
While the Hatters suffered defeat in their opening match against Portsmouth last weekend, the Black Cats boss has refused to take notice of that, admitting Saturday’s trip to Kenilworth Road is up there with the toughest his side are likely to face this season.
“Saturday is another big test for us,” he said.
“Away from home there are always different challenges, it will be Luton’s first home game and they had a good record there last season.
“I thought last weekend was one of the toughest home fixtures we could’ve had to start the season, and equally this weekend is one of the toughest away fixtures we could’ve started with.
“If we can come through these games with positive results then I think from a moral perspective and from a belief perspective it should leave us in a good position.
“I am adjusting to how teams are perceiving us this season,” he continued. “Every single week is going to be a challenge home or away.
“For us, it is about strengthening the belief in the group that if the fundamentals are there to win a game in terms of their desire, their work and their intensity out of possession we have a chance.
“We have great quality in our group, but if we can ensure that the fundamentals are there then it is up to them to then trust in their own ability to let their quality come through.
“If they can do that then we will win more games than we lose.”