Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole concedes his team-mates will have to be on their mettle to combat Blackburn's direct approach when the two sides meet on Monday.
The Black Cats are unbeaten in their last five league outings and have secured commendable draws against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, but they are without a win since the 1-0 victory over Manchester City at the end of August.
Cattermole, who has been sent off twice this season, feels Steve Bruce's men will face a different challenge against Rovers to those posed to them is recent weeks.
He told safc.com: "Our last four or five games have been real footballing matches against the big clubs and they've been more tactical.
"But Monday night against Blackburn, it's going to be men against men. Players are going to have to stand up and be counted as it's going to be a much more physical game.
"In the past few games we've taken a physical game to the top teams and we'll have to do the same against Blackburn. They're a tough team. They shell the ball forward and we'll have to deal with their strengths and make our own count."