Martin O'Neill is well aware that his Sunderland side is facing a relegation battle this season.
The Wearsiders fell to 17th on the Premier League table after today's 2-1 defeat at Norwich City and their manager is not lost on the notion that they are firmly entrenched in a drop zone war as they sit just one point above 18th-placed Southampton.
"Until you get the requisite number of points on the board I don't think that you can ever think anything else," he said.
"You need the points, it really is as simple as that. We haven't at the minute got enough points on the board and we have to rectify that.
"Our position in the league at the minute, with a couple of teams all tight together, would suggest just that (we are in a fight).
"It is a battle for us and we have to pull through - it was a battle last year and so from that viewpoint I'm hoping the experience they have got will stand them in good stead this season."