Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has told Chronicle Live that his players must not believe their own hype as they sit on top of the Sky Bet League One table at present.
The Black Cats have enjoyed a fine start to their league campaign so far and have only suffered one defeat in their opening nine games, with the North East outfit also having a game in hand on a lot of their rivals.
Johnson’s side are currently preparing to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park tomorrow as they look to extend their lead at the top of the third tier summit.
Speaking ahead of the game on Saturday, the Sunderland boss was quick to emphasise that his squad need to maintain caution as expectations rise at the Stadium of Light after their fine start:
“We have to flatten the waves in terms of our mindset, not believe our own hype too much when we are going well, but also not be too defeatist and feel like we are not good enough if we have a blip – and blips will come over the course of the season.
“At the moment, while we are riding the wave, we will try to keep things as calm as possible by concentrating on the process.”
The Black Cats are set to face a Portsmouth side who have failed to pick up a victory in each of their last six league outings, thus seeing the pressure rise on Danny Cowley in the opposing dugout.
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A win on the road for Sunderland could see them extend their lead at the top of the table to six points if other results go on in their favour this weekend.
It is sure to be yet another tough game for the Black Cats away from home tomorrow, however they will no doubt be full of confidence after smashing Cheltenham Town in midweek.
Portsmouth are certainly the club that is more under pressure heading into this game and it will be interesting to see how they cope against a free flowing Sunderland side.
Johnson will be looking for his side to go for the win as always and it is hard to look past them as the most likely victors.
It would be fair to assume that their attack should prove too strong for a volatile Pompey backline.