Sebastian Larsson is confident Sunderland's 4-0 demolition of Stoke can lay the foundation for an upturn in fortunes on Wearside.
Sunday's Barclays Premier League victory over the Potters was the Black Cats' first of the season and dragged them out of the relegation zone into the relative comfort of mid-table. In the process, it lifted the cloud which had been hanging over the Stadium of Light ever since arch-rivals Newcastle turned up on August 20 and left with all three points.
Larsson said: "It is a massive win because you don't stop hearing about it, getting that first win. We had slipped down the league a little bit and you never want to be there, so it's nice to get the first three points and hopefully that can really get us flying for the forthcoming games now."
Manager Steve Bruce had found himself, unfairly in his opinion, under pressure from disgruntled fans with some commentators suggesting defeat by Stoke could prove fatal for him.
However, having raced into a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes - they had scored only twice in their previous five games - the Black Cats ended a run of eight defeats in nine home league fixtures and sent the locals home celebrating a league win at the Stadium of Light for only the third time this calendar year.
Asked if the pressure had been transmitted to the dressing room, Larsson replied: "Of course. We all knew, we were all desperate for that first win.
"We know what has been said about the start to the season and we know what we are capable of, so of course we wanted to put it right and get the first win, especially here at home.
"We lost the opening two games and we wanted to give the fans something to be proud of.
"We knew the performance was in us and we know we can score goals, and it was nice to show that."
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