Kenwyne Jones believes Sunderland are heading in the right direction after securing their Premier League survival with three games still to play.
The Black Cats had to endure an anxious wait last term, staying up by just two points, having also struggled to beat the drop in the 2007/8 campaign.
This season has been far more comfortable and Sunderland passed the 40-point barrier on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Burnley.
The result ensured that Steve Bruce's men can no longer go down and Jones is happy with the way things are developing.
The striker is convinced the future will be bright at the Stadium of Light, describing the club as a 'sleeping giant'.
"You can see the progress that's been made," Jones said in The Sun.
"Last year and the year before it went down to the final weekend or so, so it feels nice to know we are safe now, with three to play.
"You can see the quality we have in our team.
"This does feel like a side on the up. The club has always been a sleeping giant."