SEB Larsson shared the frustration of fans after Sunderland failed to hit the heights against Liverpool at the weekend.
But he has asked them to keep the faith, insisting the Black Cats are better this time around after a summer of rebuilding.
“We can definitely improve on last season,” said the Sweden midfielder.
“We’re a stronger team and a stronger squad. Confidence is key.
“The two away games have been tough and Liverpool, whatever people say, you are never going to walk over them.
“We haven’t got many points on the board, but we’re unbeaten and it has been a decent start.
“I think we’re going to have a good crack this season.”
In that context, a draw against one of the country’s leading sides was not a bad result, though Larsson acknowledged there was annoyance that, for the second game running, Sunderland had got their noses in front but were unable to stay ahead.
“I suppose Saturday is a decent point, but when you’re winning after 60 odd minutes you want to get the three points,” he said. “Our performance in the second half wasn’t good enough to get the three points.
“I don’t think we can complain that Liverpool got their goal in the end.
“We’ve gone three games unbeaten and they’ve been three tough games, which is good, but we want to start winning games.”
Though victories haven’t come for Sunderland, goals have still flowed for main striker Steven Fletcher – three in two league games – and Larsson says it cannot be under-estimated how valuable it is to the side to know that there are more goals in the side this season.
Fletcher’s goal against Liverpool was a triumph of timing and application and the sort of goal Sunderland were struggling to come by last season.
Larsson said of the £12million striker’s flying start: “It’s very important and he has been excellent.
“It probably wasn’t the hardest goal he’s scored, but it wasn’t about the finish, it was about his movement to get into the position to finish it off.
“It’s great for us and it has been a brilliant start for him.
“It makes a difference having a striker you know is capable of scoring these sort of goals and it gives a lot of confidence to the team. We just need to keep working on our performance from 60, 65 minutes onwards.”