Glenn Hoddle expects a scrap at Sunderland on Sunday.
Howard Wilkinson's teams are renowned for their work ethic and spirit and Black Cats are fighting to get out of the wrong end of the Premiership.
Recent away draws at Bolton and Charlton in the Premiership indicate at more steel following Wilkinson's arrival and Wednesday's Worthington Cup win at Highbury, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2, can't help but instill confidence.
"They are fighting for every point," said Glenn. "I don't think it will be a pretty game but we will try to make it as pretty as possible, try to get that ball down and pass.
"There will be times when we'll have to fix bayonets and battle because they are scraping for every point.
"It was always going to be tough, especially with Howard Wilkinson looking for his first Premiership win.
"We have to pick ourselves and put in a good performance. That's what we intend to do."