The Black Cats started the campaign with a defeat.
Sunderland manager David Moyes before the match
It has been a summer of change for the Black Cats, with David Moyes replacing Sam Allardyce after he left to take the England job.
They kicked off their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a trip to the Etihad to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Sunderland's Paddy McNair scores a own goal and Manchester City's second
It did not prove to be a happy afternoon for them though as a late own goal from Paddy McNair handed all three points to the hosts.
Despite ending in defeat, it was a positive display from Moyes’ side and Rodwell insists the spirit in the camp remains high.
“It was always going to be tough game, but we were a little unlucky. I thought the lads put in a good shift” he told the Chronicle.
“The spirit’s brilliant. It’s the first game and I think we showed that it’s still there. We’ve got to remain strong, keep our spirit going. That’s what helped us through last season.”
Sunderland manager David Moyes speaks to Jermain Defoe as he is substituted off
It will now be interesting to see what kind of season that Sunderland have under David Moyes.
There is no denying they will be keen to avoid a repeat of their last few years, which have all required a late rally to ensure their Premier League status.
If things are to change they will need more signings though and it remains to be seen if they can get the players they need before the end of the transfer window.
Sunderland manager David Moyes acknowledges fans at the end of the match