Steve Bruce has expressed his appreciation for the changes that have happened at Sunderland since Mick McCarthy's time in charge.
McCarthy, who returns to the Stadium of Light on Sunday with his Wolves side, was dismissed by the Black Cats in 2006 after three years at the helm.
The club was heading towards Premier League relegation when McCarthy was shown the exit door, although he had to work within tight financial constraints that made it very difficult to compete.
By contrast, Bruce has spent £36million on new signings since his arrival at Sunderland during the summer and he is grateful for the backing of new owner Ellis Short.
He said: "The club has changed in that respect, of course, and we are thankful we have got an owner who obviously wants the club to progress.
"That's going to take a little bit of time, as I keep trying to say, but we will get there, I am sure of that."
Bruce has admired fellow manager McCarthy since their playing days and believes he did well at Sunderland.
"I have the hugest respect for him. He did a decent job here under difficult circumstances," said Bruce.
"He got the team promoted when probably he would say his hands were tied a little bit, which is very difficult when you go into the Premier League.
"I have been there with Mick, that's for sure, for 10 years. He has always done okay. He is a good football person.
"He is a proper one. There is no grey area with Mick - a spade is a spade, you get what you see and I have always had a respect for him."
Sunderland have made an inconsistent start to the season but Bruce insists a victory over Wolves would put them into a good position.
Bruce said: "If we can get the win on Sunday then it will have been a very good start but you can take away the disappointment that we didn't get something from Burnley and Stoke.
"If we can get 12 points on the board with seven games played, then it's a really, really decent start, which gives us a nice platform to tackle the winter ahead."