Dickson Etuhu says Sunderland will not be settling for finishing just outside the relegation zone this season.
The Black Cats have made an unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign, with a win and a draw from their two games so far.
Roy Keane has instilled a winning attitude in his players and Etuhu has warned that these type of performances must continue.
Etuhu is hoping to help Sunderland finish well up the table, but admits he cannot rest on his laurels with Keane in charge.
The former Norwich man also urged his team-mates to aim high or risk finding themselves out of the side.
"If I said I would be happy with finishing 17th this season I probably wouldn't play again. The gaffer has put it in our minds to aim as high as we can and he has put that belief in us," Etuhu said.
"We're all in it together but at the same time you know you cannot afford to mess around or come off the gas.
"We have got a big enough squad here that we can rotate it as much as we want."