Sunderland manager David Moyes is challenging his players to step it up after a weak start to the Premier League season.
Sunderland sits in 19th place, having only picked up a single point in the opening four matches. Moyes is challenging his players to kick things into gear.
“I’m certainly up for the challenge – that’s what I came for,” Moyes said. “When I wanted to come back in, I wanted somewhere that excited me.
“I’d like to say this was really exciting, but maybe not in the way I hoped! There has to be a realistic element to this. There is a building job and we are up against it, undoubtedly.
“But we have got a great chance to prove ourselves and we have got a great chance to show what we can do.”
Sunderland travels to London to take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday, and Moyes hopes his players can raise their level of play.
“I have got to say, the players here need to lift their levels because for too long, it’s been too close to the bottom level,” Moyes said.
“They need to show this is not their level because maybe soon, some of you people might say it’s got nothing to do with the managers here, maybe it’s got something to do with the players.
“The players have to lift their levels for us to be competitive. There are only two things we can do just now: sign players or get on the training pitch.
“Well, we are now in a part of the season where we can’t sign players, so the only thing we can do is get out there and try to work.”