Sunderland boss Roy Keane says many of his players will be lifted by this season's Premiership survival campaign.
"But when you've got crowds of 45,000 for a team which isn't doing great, the potential is enormous.
"There are big gaps to fill but there have been unbelievable pluses; Nyron, Kenwyne, Michael Chopra, Daryl Murphy, Dean Whitehead. If we had gone down this year they would have thought they were never meant to play in this league. This will give them the confidence to say this is where we belong.
"I feel very happy and very comfortable here. I was disappointed with the bad reaction to our defeat at Newcastle. I got a few letters which I read and put in my shredder on Friday night.
"People have to appreciate how far the team has come. We were second from bottom of the Championship not long ago. You take criticism, don't get me wrong, but you have to be careful who you listen to."