Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits he's delighted with the application of his players so far this season.
Bruce is hopeful the ethos he has instilled in his players will see them through after being impressed with their application in most of their recent games, with the notable exception of the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham on October 24.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I have been quite pleased with us of late.
"I'm pleased with our performances against Man United, Liverpool, Villa and West Ham.
"I was displeased with the Birmingham City game, but then I thought we were the better team against Spurs.
"The results haven't really gone our way, but what has been encouraging is the way that we have really managed to live with top teams we have faced.
"The pleasing thing has been the attitude and stamina the players have shown in some of those matches.
"I even asked the players how we could play like we did against Villa and Liverpool, but then throw in a Birmingham display."