BUILDING up to the League One season, there was plenty of anxiety among the fan base given Sunderland's lack of activity in the transfer window. 

However, the manager Lee Johnson says his squad deserve praise for allaying the fears with their strong start to the season. 

The Black Cats have won nine out of eleven games in all competitions, sit second in the table and are through to the last sixteen of the Carabao Cup. 

Most recently, Sunderland battled their way to a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers to maintain their one hundred per cent home record. 

“The boys have been great. They deserve so much credit" said Johnson.

“Rewind to the articles that were in the paper sort of two or three weeks before the season started and there was a lot of anxiety around the club. A lot of anxiety in the fanbase.

“The players have dealt with that fantastically well. They’ve worked ever so hard in pre-season, trusted the young players and the young players have come to the fore.

“The likes of Dan Neil who I thought was absolutely fantastic today.

When Johnson was asked whether he felt any anxiety over the summer months, this was his response to the media. 

“No. I trust my players. It’s as simple as that" added Johnson. 

“I knew we were good. Even our pre-season form was good, we beat teams like Hearts, we beat teams like Harrogate that we knew was a good side. We beat Hull so you get a feel for what your team is and what your team isn’t.

“I was desperate like we all were to bring in more quality, because we know how tough the longevity of the season is."

The Black Cats quickly turn their attention to Tuesday evening where another newly promtoed side Cheltenham Town make the visit to the Stadium of Light.