Sunderland manager Gus Poyet believes that the mental strength of his squad will be tested again on Wednesday evening when they host Manchester City.
Poyet believes that the mentality of his squad was the main reason that they were able to dig deep and beat off relegation at the end of last season.
The former Brighton boss also feels that sort of character was on show again at the weekend as his side held runaway league leaders Chelsea to a goalless draw.
The Uruguayan is hopeful that his squad can put in another solid performance against one of the league’s ‘big-boys’ on Wednesday.
Sunderland, who can be backed at 4.00 to be relegated, boast a good recent record against the defending champions and have claimed victory in their last four meetings on Wearside.
The Black Cats head into the tie with confidence on a high and unbeaten in their last four outings, with three draws and one win – a run that Poyet wants to continue.
Poyet said: “There is a mentality sometimes that when you play against the top teams, before you start the game you accept that if you lose nothing will happen.
“I don’t think that’s right – I don’t think you are playing to the maximum if you accept that before the game. I think you have to be clear that it is going to be more difficult, but you will have a chance.
“On those terms the players have been exceptional because we stayed up last year because of that, and we showed last Saturday we can do it and we can try to stop the other teams doing what they like.”