Chris Coleman believes Sunderland's performance in their 0-0 draw at Wolves is exactly what they need more of in order to improve.
Wolves had won nine of their last 10 league games and all of their last six, but their electric attack was shut down by an uncompromising defensive performance from the Black Cats, who were reduced to 10 men with Lee Cattermole's second-half red card.
It was a huge upgrade on their display in the defeat to Reading the previous weekend, and one which - according to their manager - is the benchmark they must look to replicate on a weekly basis.
And despite picking up just two wins from 21 games in their first season in the second division since 2006-07, Coleman is confident that destiny remains in the North East side's own hands yet.
"Sunderland still have it in our hands"
"We're always confident [of staying up]," he told journalists. "Not because of where we are and the situation we're in but because we've got a lot of games to play and a lot of points to play for.
"We're confident that we can get out of trouble. It's going to be a long, hard season, we know that. We've got to have more performances like that and when you do that, you get better results and that's where you get better.
"It is literally game-by-game. We can enjoy this but we've a lot of games to play and the good thing is, like all the teams down there at the minute, it's in our own hands.
"There's enough games and enough points to get away from where we are, enough time. The sooner we do that, the better everybody's going to feel."
Coleman "sorry" for red-carded Cattermole
Cattermole, though typecast for his aggressive style-of-play, picked up his first red card in four years with two rash yellows inside 54 seconds of each other.
But Coleman felt that the Sunderland skipper was somewhat unfortunate to be booked for the first foul, though admitted his second - a late lunge on Diogo Jota - warranted a booking.
The Black Cats boss added: "I thought the first card, there were other challenges similar to that but he got the card. The second one, okay, I can understand that.
"I felt sorry for Lee. I think because the game was fast and he had a role to play, himself and Darron [Gibson] positionally, it was important that they stayed central to the pitch.
"There was a split-second where he lost his concentration for the second one. I can understand the yellow. The first one, I'm not sure about.
"He's been here a long time, he's been here the last five or six years in relegation battles and he's come through most of them. He's important, we need that experience.
"After last week going down to ten men, you could easily come here and crumble after having another man sent off. The players rolled their sleeves up and that's all you can ask for."