Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson believes the Black Cats' impending fixtures provide them with the ideal opportunity to climb the Barclays Premier League table.
It has not been the best of starts for Steve Bruce's side, who currently sit in 14th place, having mustered only 10 points from 11 games.
There is, however, hope on Wearside that things will soon improve, and the next four games could be pivotal.
Sunderland face fellow strugglers Fulham on Saturday, before encounters with lowly trio Wigan, Wolves and Blackburn.
And Larsson knows things could be looking far brighter for Sunderland in a few weeks.
"The four games after the international break are definitely the types where we've got to look to pick up some points," the Sweden international told the Shields Gazette.
"But we've started to look a lot better throughout the 90 minutes.
"Looking at the next fixtures, we should be picking up points and I think we will. Without doubt, there's been progress over the last three or four games.
"You can definitely see we're playing a lot more as a unit and working well together."
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