O’Brien returned from injury on Saturday and scored the winning goal against Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers. This put the Black Cats in first place to three points ahead of Hull City.

Sunderland have played two games fewer than Grant McCann’s team.

The Black Cats face Oxford United on Good Friday before clashing with runner-up Peterborough United on Easter Monday. two games that are likely to prove crucial.

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“/>Aiden O’Brien, Sunderland forward

Sunderland’s undefeated return, now spanning twelve games across all competitions, means the squad is full of confidence, but O’Brien insists they will heed Lee Johnson’s message.

Despite being enthusiastic about the character of his team, Johnson firmly believes that more is to come.

“We are [confident], but we also have a balanced mind about ourselves, “said O’Brien.

“We knew Bristol Rovers were in the bottom half of the table and it’s easy to think we should run them over, but it isn’t. They know what football is like, especially in the top flight, and anyone can beat anyone . “

“You have to keep your head right and the manager did that to keep us level headed. Yes, we’re good enough, but let’s not get too far and get the job done and then move on to the next one.

“That’s what we did – really keep our level headed, get results and make sure we take the three points home with us.”

Still, O’Brien is well aware of the chance Sunderland has and believes the reaction to that final loss at Shrewsbury shows that they are up for the challenge.

“We have such a fight, such mentality and strong characters in the group – that little mistake won’t change how good we have been this season,” he said.

“It’s shown because we’re now ten games unbeaten. We’re a force that needs to be taken seriously.

“We have the fight, we have the quality. Why not be promoted this year? We are there, we are three points behind, two games on Hull. Ten games left, who has the more fight.” ? Who is more hungry in their tummies to take home? “

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