Paolo Di Canio has admitted he would willingly have taken six points from the first nine on offer the day he walked into Sunderland's relegation fight.
The Black Cats were hurtling towards the Barclays Premier League trapdoor when the 44-year-old Italian replaced Martin O'Neill at the helm last month with a daunting fixture list ahead of him.
However, a narrow defeat at Chelsea was followed by derby victory at Newcastle and last weekend's fine 1-0 home win over Everton, and a repeat at Aston Villa on Monday evening would all but assure the club of its top-flight status. Asked if he had expected to turn things around so quickly, Di Canio said: "I don't know."
He added: "I looked at the fixtures with not very high concentration because otherwise, you are going to distract yourself.
"From the first day, I was focused on my players and their potential.
"But if you asked if I would sign for six points in the first three games, even if I wanted to win every game, realistically I would say yes.
"Even if I say I want to win every single game, in this specific situation, if you asked me, 'Would sign for six points in the first three matches you have, Chelsea away, Newcastle away, Everton at home?', I think everybody would sign.
"I don't know if we were quick. Obviously, we have got good results. I don't know if it was quick or slow, but I know we have done well since the first match.
"Straight away after the Chelsea game, I was even more confident because I saw the desire, the commitment, the discipline to try to get something more."