Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell has called on the squad to pull together after the opening day defeat to Manchester City.
David Moyes’ men looked on course to pick up a shock draw at the Etihad Stadium but a late own goal from Paddy McNair handed all three points to City.
Rodwell feels there are positives to be taken from the opening day clash against his former club, and believes it’s a credit to the squad that they didn’t crumble after going a goal down early on.
However, the midfielder insists they must pull together now to try and secure their first points against Middlesbrough next weekend.
Rodwell said: “At the back end of last season we showed how good the spirit was, but we don’t want to have to do that again.
“This was the first game and I think we showed it’s still there. We were a little bit unlucky.
“If we pull together, with a few new faces coming in and a new manager, if feel like we can still do well.
“We’ve got to remain strong, keep our spirit going. That’s what helped us through last season.
“If you put less effort in, you’re not going to get results, whether it’s a big club or a small club you’re playing.”