Danny Rose is confident there is more to come from Sunderland after helping them secure their first Premier League win of the season.
Full-back Steven Fletcher's fifth goal for his new club clinched a 1-0 victory over Wigan - the Black Cats' first in the league since they beat QPR 3-1 at the Stadium of Light on March 24, 12 games ago.
However, they are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions for the new campaign heading into next weekend's visit to champions Manchester City and then the eagerly-anticipated derby clash with arch rivals Newcastle.
Rose said: "There are new faces - Fletch has been unbelievable - myself, and as soon as we get Adam Johnson match-fit, I can see him being great for Sunderland.
"We are still growing and everyone is getting fitter and we will see where it takes us in a few weeks.
"Wigan was a must-win, especially when we have drawn the first four games of the season.
"No disrespect to Wigan, but it was a game we all thought we could win. We needed some points going to City next week because that's going to be a very hard game."
For 45 minutes, Saturday's encounter proved anything but easy as the Black Cats laboured to contain a Wigan side which might have gone in at the break with a healthy advantage.
But for keeper Simon Mignolet, who denied James McCarthy after four minutes and then Arouna Kone after 15, Roberto Martinez's men would have taken the lead, and McCarthy was unfortunate to see a 43rd-minute effort sail just wide of the post with Mignolet struggling to get across his goal in time.
The Belgium international, who also made a fine save to deny Kevin Nolan at West Ham last week, has enjoyed a good start to the season and his efforts have been very much appreciated by both the men in front of him and manager Martin O'Neill.
Rose said: "Last week, he dug me out of the dirt because I lost the ball. It was an unbelievable save last week, and today, I don't understand how he pulled that one off.
"Even though Fletch scored the winner, Simon won us the game."
Martinez must have been delighted with his team's first-half effort with Sunderland threatening only once when Ivan Ramis hacked Sebastian Larsson's free-kick off the line.
However, the game changed within two minutes of the restart when Jordi Gomez launched himself into an ill-judged tackle on Rose and was shown a red card by referee Howard Webb.
Martinez later insisted the decision was harsh, and his frustration grew within four minutes when James McClean dragged a shot across the face of goal and Fletcher swept it past Ali Al Habsi with the confidence of a man who has now registered with each of the five attempts he has had on target for his new club.
The £12million Scot is the only man to have found the back of the net in a league game for the Black Cats this season, and while O'Neill could not have asked for a better early return on his investment, he knows that situation must be addressed.
He said: "The crowd have taken to him and I am delighted, really delighted.
"It's about time somebody else got on the scoresheet."
If Martinez felt hard done to over the sending-off, he was otherwise satisfied with his team's performance despite the fact that the defeat left them just a point above the relegation zone ahead of next weekend's home fixture against in-form Everton.
He said: "We have been in this situation many, many times. We know what we are and we know how to face adversity.
"But the truth is that the next games is a very, very important game. We are playing at home and it's the game before the next international break.
"In a way, I can't wait just to get a little bit of stability in our season and just not have these international breaks. It disrupts the squad too much.
"But on days like today, you feel frustrated. We need to learn certain aspects, how to cope with going down to 10 men a little bit better, even though I thought in the last 10, 15 minutes, you could see Sunderland could feel they had something to lose.
"We never stopped from pressing them and it's something we need to do a little bit better."