Martin O'Neill has urged Sunderland to fight for victory against Chelsea on Saturday despite a recent disappointing run of results.
The Black Cats hover one point above the relegation zone having recorded only one win at home since March.
But O'Neill believes determination will prove vital in helping his side change their fortunes.
"It takes a strong player to play here for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, I have often thought that," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.
"There are clubs up and down the country where it's tough playing at home. I managed a team up in Scotland for five years where you had to be a really decent player, with a strong mentality.
"I think it was the late Tommy Burns who said it was harder to play for Celtic than to play against them. I know exactly what he means.
"Here, it's demanding and you have to have plenty of courage and ability to play here. You have to have a good mentality and a bit of self-confidence.
"And then you need to go and win some football matches and put on a performance. That's very, very important."
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