Anton Ferdinand expects to be fit for Sunderland's trip to Manchester City on Sunday and is confident he will thrive on the pressure that comes with a relegation battle.
The defender has missed two games after suffering a hamstring injury in training but he has made good progress over the past few days.
He is back in contention and could replace Tal Ben-Haim at Eastlands, with the Israeli ineligible under the terms of his loan move from Man City.
Ferdinand said: "The injury is a lot better. I will test it in training and see if I am ready for the game.
"I felt it in training the day before the Tottenham game. I stretched to block a shot and it happened. Luckily it wasn't bad and I should be back soon."
The Black Cats have been dragged back into the relegation scrap after picking up just one point from their last three games, but Ferdinand feels they will cope with the situation.
The former West Ham man realises that he must take more responsibility as he is now one of the senior players.
"I am not the young kid who came through the ranks and who has a lot of experience around him, which was how it was at West Ham," Ferdinand told the Evening Chronicle.
"I am someone who was brought to the club to make the club better.
"That brings pressure and I am sure you will see in my football it is pressure I enjoy.
"That is how we will hopefully all look at this situation. It is not what we wanted or expected, but we have to go out and show what good players we are."
Aiming for win
Manchester City are only three points better off than Sunderland and Ferdinand is hoping to put some pressure on Mark Hughes' men.
"Manchester City are not out of it either," he added.
"Their fans are expecting bigger things of their club than ours do at this moment, because of the money they have.
"We have nothing to lose. We have to go out on to that pitch with the confidence we are going to claim three points.
"If we take a point, we will be happy - any team going to Manchester City and taking a point would be happy.
"However, every game we go into for the rest of the season we have to think we are going to collect three points."