Martin O'Neill is confident his Sunderland side will improve after starting the new Premier League season with a 0-0 draw at Arsenal.
Sunderland set out with a disciplined 4-5-1 formation which restricted Arsenal to only one clear-cut chance which was missed by substitute Olivier Giroud late on.
The sweltering temperatures in London had sapped the energy from Sunderland's legs and O'Neill was pleased to come away with a point.
"We were very tired from about 65 minutes onwards, but that game will bring us on immensely," said O'Neill, who hopes to bring in some more new players ahead of the transfer deadline.
"We have not been able to get our squad up to strength and I knew coming here was going to be difficult.
"We ran out of energy towards the end and we were hanging on, but at least we are off the mark."
The Black Cats had a couple of opportunities in the first half which O'Neill felt they could have made more of, but accepted his team were on the back foot for much of the second period.
O'Neill added: "We should have done better in the first half, James McClean had a shot and Jack Colback got himself into a good position too, but in the second half Arsenal had most of the possession and we had to defend."