Kevin Nolan says West Ham United will be looking for another strong performance when they take on Sunderland on Saturday.
The Hammers skipper is confident the players can produce more of the same after a top-drawer display against Manchester United in the FA Cup with Budweiser third round produced a thrilling 2-2 draw. Nolan knows Martin O'Neill's men will provide a similar stern test, but will be aiming to continue his own good run of form against them, which includes the equalising goal in the 1-1 draw the teams played out at the Boleyn Ground back in November.
"We're looking forward to playing Sunderland. I myself have had some good times scoring against them. I scored at home here at the Boleyn Ground for West Ham earlier this season and during my Newcastle days, scored a hat-trick against them and had some good results. So hopefully that will continue.
"It will be a tough match. It is never an easy game for anyone at the Stadium of Light, but we are delighted with how we have started the year. That included the win over Norwich on New Year's Day and then against Manchester United on Saturday, when we were not far away from winning. We have a few more bodies and injured players hopefully on the way back, so that will be good."
Nolan was full of praise for his team-mates' stoic performances against the Red Devils, which included a second club debut for Joe Cole and a start for Academy graduate Dan Potts, who had literally just returned from his loan spell at Colchester United.
"Pottsy [Dan Potts] had gone out to Colchester on loan to give him a bit more experience and he did well, which will stand him in good stead despite some tough results while he was there. But he came back, came straight into the team and was great.
"He is a fantastic lad to have around, on and off the pitch. He's a real credit to the club, a lad you can rely on and his attitude is first-class. He belongs here with us and so hopefully he can only get better and better.
"Joe [Cole] speaks for himself. He hasn't had the luck with playing games of late but you can see the quality he has, which he showed in the game against Manchester United. He set up the two goals and he's loving being back home already.
"We want to push on from this part of the season and hopefully if we can perform like we have done in the last couple of games, we can bring something back from Sunderland on Saturday."