SIMON Mignolet admits Sunderland’s confidence would have begun to plummet if they had waited much longer for a first win of the season.
Last weekend’s 4-0 victory over Stoke City has lifted the gloom over Wearside after the Black Cats took just two points from the previous four Premier League games and crashed out of the Carling Cup.
Goalkeeper Mignolet doesn’t believe Sunderland’s players had been particularly swayed by the rising scrutiny on results.
But the Belgian international insists Steve Bruce’s side needed to inject some belief back into themselves by claiming that maiden victory.
Mignolet said: “If the fans starting doubting then obviously it starts for us.
“But I don’t think it was pressure, the biggest problem was confidence.
“If you don’t score goals and you concede and you start losing games, suddenly everyone is doubting his own ability.
“To score four goals and a keep a clean sheet against a tough team like Stoke was great.
“Everybody wants to win every game and if things aren’t going well it starts to get difficult.”
Mignolet knows Sunderland can’t afford to rest on their laurels as they prepare for Monday night’s trip to a Norwich City side, buoyant after earning a first top flight victory since promotion at Bolton last weekend.
The 23-year-old, one of several players to stand out for the Black Cats against Stoke, believes Sunderland must use their Potters success as a springboard.
“Hopefully it’s a good start for the next games where we can get some points,” said Mignolet.
“If you are going to lose the next game then the win against Stoke doesn’t mean anything.
“The confidence must be there now and hopefully we can get some points out of the next few games.
“I did well against Stoke but there’s another game on Monday night and if I don’t perform there then nobody thinks about all the good performances from the past.
“The most important thing for me is to play well against Norwich.
“I was happy because when you play Stoke, you know you’re always going to be under pressure, but the defence did well and protected me as well as they could.
“In training we did a bit on how Stoke were going to play and I think we responded well as a team.”