Sunderland chairman Ellis Short says he has been heartened by the start of Sam Allardyce's tenure.
Ahead of today's visit of Watford, Allardyce has taken nine points from his first seven games in charge, to vastly improve Sunderland's chances of beating the drop.
And after appointing Allardyce in October to succeed Dick Advocaat - when Sunderland were cast adrift with just three points on the board - Short has been pleased to see the impact from the ex-West Ham boss.
"Sam has been on board for seven games now and the change has been tangible," said Short in the matchday programme.
"You can see, both on the pitch and in terms of statistics, that we are fitter and more organised as a team.
"I was at the game against Arsenal last weekend and we played far better than the result suggests.
"We looked and played like a proper team.
"Sam has settled into life at Sunderland very well.
"He shares the same passion for the game that the North East fans do and he clearly understands the club.
"I can see he is highly motivated to be successful here and I am confident that we are in the right hands to move forward."