Phil Bardsley believes Sunderland are a match for anyone and is confident they can prosper over the coming weeks.
A slow start to the 2012/13 campaign saw pressure steadily mount on those at the Stadium of Light, with Martin O'Neill facing a rare wobble in his managerial career.
Whispers of a crisis on Wearside began to circulate, but Bardsley insists such talk was wildly exaggerated.
He maintains that confidence never wavered inside the Sunderland camp, with the players aware of the quality O'Neill possesses within in his ranks.
On the back of improved displays against Everton and Fulham, Bardsley told the Sunderland Echo: "The win at Fulham was a massive result for us, obviously.
"We wanted to win the game desperately and we did that. But I thought the previous week at Goodison Park we deserved something too - it just wasn't to be.
"We knew Fulham was going to be a tough game, but, fortunately for us, we got the result we wanted and hopefully we can take that into the two home games coming up.
"We are confident in every game we go into and we don't really fear defeat, so it's up to us to take that into the upcoming games.
"The work ethic has always been there with the lads, it has just been that little bit of luck in front of goal, maybe taking a few more chances, shooting etc. But the group of players we've got are capable of winning any football match."