Jack Ross believes the fruits of Sunderland’s labour will pay off if they continue to do things right.
The Black Cats travel to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, chasing three points and their first clean sheet of the season.
Tuesday’s draw at home to Rotherham United means the Lads are yet to keep an opposition out after 10 games in all competitions, despite Ross’ side sitting in a healthy position in the League One standings.
Currently fourth, the manager knows there are improvements to be made but believes the rewards after hours of hard work on the training pitch will pay off sooner rather than later.
“I said after the Rotherham game that I do feel in the main we have looked more comfortable defensively than we did last season. Maybe at times that balanced out by the number of big saves Jon [McLaughlin] had made at this point last season.
“There has to be consistency to your work, but there also has to be an adaptation to make sure that you’re not missing anything out that you should be.
“But we’ve got good players here and I think the reward will come. If we keep believing in what we do and we keep working at it, it will come. I don’t think we concede an awful lot of chances in a game and I think that was shown in Tuesday’s game. I think Jon had one other save to make. Other than that he didn’t have a huge amount to do against a good team.
“So from what I’ve seen, I think we’ll start to get those rewards sooner rather than later.”
He continued: “It disappoints me. And I mean that collectively from my own point of view because it’s my responsibility and because you want to have them, and you know the difference that can make sometimes in games.
“At the moment it does I suppose feel like we’re being punished and conceding from not very much, and sometimes that can happen.
“It just goes to show that it’s very far from an exact science that we work in - especially in an era where stats can point to a very particular pattern.
“But it feels like this season we’re conceding more from less than what we were doing last season.
“We’ve just got to keep working hard at it and maintain our belief in what we do and those rewards will come.”