Sunderland's never-say-die spirit will help keep them up this season, insists defender Danny Higginbotham.

Higginbotham said: "When you look at the character of the players and the Sunderland team as a whole, we just never know when we are beaten.

"I think you have to be like that - Reading showed the same kind of qualities last season.

"When you go to these places you can't be fearful of anyone, you have to go there and feel that you're on a level playing field.

"That's the way you have to approach games.

"If you go there and think you'll get battered then, in the majority of games in the Premiership, that will end up being the case.

"You just have to go into every game and be positive and believe that you can get something out of it."