WITH the dust having settled on last month’s defeat at Peterborough United, Grant Leadbitter claims it is important to retain a sense of perspective when dealing with the highs and lows that will inevitably punctuate Sunderland’s season.

The Black Cats crashed to their first defeat of the campaign at London Road, with the second-half dismissals of Luke O’Nien and Charlie Wyke making a bad afternoon even worse.

Emotions ran high in the immediate aftermath of the game, but now that the dust has settled, Leadbitter is keen to get things back on an even keel.

The Sunderland skipper accepts that the difficulties of the last few seasons will inevitably act as the backdrop to any assessment of the current campaign, but is hoping to avoid the kind of knee-jerk reaction that was apparent a week-and-a-half ago.

“There’s no bad times,” said Leadbitter. “There’s defeat, but no bad times. All this negativity around the football club that has been here the last 18 months - no. We’ve lost one game and it’s all positive.

“We keep moving forward and sticking together is the main thing. That’s the club itself, the fans, the players - we all stick together through wins and defeats. We kind of have to get that middle ground now.

“Things have calmed down at the football club now so we can get that middle ground. I think it’s been a decent start, a decent return from six games.”

Having had a blank weekend because of the international schedule, Sunderland find themselves in eighth position in League One, four points adrift of league leaders Wycome Wanderers but with a game in hand on five of the seven teams above them in the table. Not perfect; but not bad when accompanied by a place in the Carabao Cup third round.

“We’re only six games in, and we’ve got 11 points,” said Leadbitter. “It’s been okay, but we want to do better. We have to work hard at all times, and we’ll do that and look to the Accrington game.”

O’Nien is available for the trip to Accrington after his red card was overturned, but Wyke is suspended and is likely to be replaced by either Will Grigg or Marc McNulty. If Ross opts to tinker with his formation, both strikers could start at the Wham Stadium.