"Hats off to him, he has tried to add in the right places this year."
Stubbs spent a short period at Sunderland in the 2005/6 season before returning to Goodison and recognises the importance the Wearsiders attach to being in the nation's top division.
"It is a Premier League club, a big club, and they have probably been deprived of top flight football for too long," said Stubbs.
"The fans have craved it for a long time, especially seeing Newcastle in there.
"They are back and they are doing okay, they'd probably like to see themselves a bit higher but it is always difficult in the first season back."