Jermain Defoe insists the spirit in Sunderland's squad is good and says if "the whole team sticks together" they can avoid relegation.
The Black Cats have made a poor start to the Premier League season and sit bottom of the table after losing five of their first seven games under new boss David Moyes.
Sunderland only just avoided the drop last season but Defoe insists despite the ongoing struggle at the wrong end of the table there is still a positive atmosphere around the dressing room.
"The spirit here has always been good to be honest," he said in the Chronicle. "There are some good characters here and whenever new players come in, you have got to try to get them involved in the group.
"It has always been good and at the end of the day, you have to remain positive because the games are so important. Every game is so difficult, home or away, compared to when I first started.
"It is important that the whole team sticks together, like we did last season towards the end, then you will be fine."
Sunderland return to action after the international break on Saturday when they travel to Stoke, who are one place and a point ahead of them in the table.