Kenwyne JonesIn-form Kenwyne Jones believes continuity could be the key to Sunderland climbing the Premier League.
The Black Cats produced back-to-back wins for the first time this season to leap out of the relegation zone with a 4-1 triumph at Hull on Saturday.

Caretaker boss Ricky Sbragia kept faith with the same side that started the previous weekend's 4-0 home defeat of West Bromwich Albion.

In his 100 games as Sunderland manager, Roy Keane named the same 11 in consecutive matches only twice.

But Jones – who netted Sunderland's third at Hull, his fifth of the season – says a settled team could make all the difference.

"Injuries and suspensions are always going to happen, and of course some players might lose a bit of form during a season, but keeping the
same line-up has to help," he said.

"If you play the same 11, people get used to each other's style of play and you can play better together as a unit.

"I'm not saying we've fixed everything just because we have won a couple of games. But we have a renewed confidence and I think that showed against Hull."We got stronger as the game progressed."

Sbragia has not applied to be manager permanently, but surely he'd be mad to turn it down if Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn were to offer him it.

Players interrupted the Scot's TV interviews at Hull with good-natured shouts of "give him the job".

There is no doubt from the three games he has overseen so far that the Black Cats' squad really is putting in huge effort for Sbragia and Jones said: "It's not for me to say who should be manager. That's a decision for the chairman.

"I think you can see from our performances that we like and respect Ricky.

"We have brought back something that was missing from our performances.
Perhaps it was a bit of togetherness that was missing, I don't know, but we have proved now that we can come together as a team and fight.

"The league is tight so I wouldn't say we've cracked it yet, but we're going in the right direction.

"We've had a couple of great results but need to maintain that level if we're going to keep the run going.

"Two straight wins have got us up a few places but a couple of bad results this week and we could be back where we started."

Jones and strike partner Djibril Cisse were both on target at the KC Stadium, the third time that has happened in six starts together.

On current form, it won't be long before the Trinidad & Tobago frontman overtakes the seven goals he managed last season.

He said: "We have different ingredients in the team this season. Djib is great to play with but we have good attacking players through the side. We are confident that we have the qualities to push up the table and finish as high as possible."

Sunderland host Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day before visiting Everton two days later.

Jones is likely to be looking for plenty of family tickets for the two festive fixtures and had brother Karwyne cheering him on among the Sunderland fans at the KC Stadium.

"The family is over for Christmas and it was nice to have my brother there," added Jones.

"I hope he enjoy the atmosphere the Sunderland fans created – they were great again."