Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admits the Black Cats are amongst a group of club’s who are simply battling every season to remain in the Premier League.
The Ulsterman said: "There are a number of teams who start the season and never contemplate anything else other than being in the big league, your Manchester Uniteds, your Chelseas, Manchester City and a few sides like that.
"There's a group of us and it's a fight, and it's a fight every single week until you have got the requisite number points on the board.
"Only then can you start looking up the table. But I think teams will always be looking over their shoulder until they get the points on the board and start winning some football matches."