Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has said he and the side have always believed they could retain their Premier League status this season.
Their retched form up until March saw Gus Poyet lose his job at the club having only managed four wins all season, meaning Dick Advocaat took charge of first team affairs in order to keep the Black Cats in the top flight.
So far, the Dutchman has led them to three crucial wins against Newcastle, Southampton, and at the weekend over Everton to lift them into 16th place - leapfrogging Newcastle and Hull City in the process.
Goalkeeper Pantilimon, who played a big role in keeping a clean sheet over Everton at the weekend, is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: “We have always believed in every training session, every game, that we can stay in the Barclays Premier League.
“That is the most important objective.
“We have worked hard and showed it (at Everton) and in the last game.”
With three games remaining, there is a chance for Sunderland to practically secure their Premier League status at home to an in-form Leicester City side at the Stadium of Light this weekend. They will not want to leave it down to the final two games of their campaign where they face difficult trips to both Arsenal and Chelsea.
Like last season, they have faced an almighty scrap to try and stay in the division, but back-to-back wins will lift the mood in the Sunderland camp.