Jermain Defoe has told the Chronicle that new boss Dick Advocaat has already conveyed the importance of the side's next eight games to the squad.
The Black Cats have just eight more fixtures remaining to save their season and Advocaat is determined to ensure that his team are fully aware of how vital they are.
Defoe says he has told the squad that they face a run of cup finals and he wants them to be fully motivated for the run-in.
"We’ve got eight games coming up and the manager has told us they are all cup finals, which is right because we need to get points," he said.
“If we continue to play like we did against West Ham we’ll be fine. We created a lot of chances, had good movement and were solid and defended well.”
Sunderland did improve against West Ham United, but their lack of cutting edge was on display once again, as they failed to convert their chances.
Both Defoe and Connor Wickham had presentable opportunities, but they failed to hit the back of the net and were punished for their profligacy, when Diafra Sakho netted in the last minute of normal time.
It was a hugely disappointing end to the match and it leaves Sunderland in real danger of facing the drop this season.
At the moment Advocaat's side are just one point above the relegation zone and they must start picking up some victories between now and the end of the season if they are to retain their Premier League status.