Dean Smith is hoping to capitalise on Sunderland's struggles at the Stadium of Light when Brentford visit Wearside on Saturday.
The Black Cats have only won twice in the Championship at home this season and sit 23rd in the Championship.
But Smith is wary of the threat they pose, given that they came from 3-0 down to rescue a point at Bristol City last weekend.
He said: “I think they've got a lot of character in the team to come back from that. It's common knowledge that their home form hasn't been great over the year and we're hoping to capitalise on it.
“Bristol City have been a good team and on a good run including their cup exploits and to go 3-0 down at Ashton Gate and come back shows they have a lot of quality within the team so we have to be wary of the threat they pose.
Sunderland fans have been frustrated with how their club has been run and the Bees head coach believes there'll be a few who won't comprehend the idea of losing to 'little old Brentford'.
He added: “Whenever we go away from home our game is to get on the ball, frustrate the opposition. I'd think Sunderland fans are expecting a home win.
“We've not played there for a while and they probably see us as a small club and little old Brentford.
“They took a 3-1 half-time lead and we came back in that game. Hopefully we can surprise a lot of their supporters and show what we're about.”
Some have been surprised to see Sunderland where they are in the table but, for Smith, he believes that the gap between the Premier League and the Championship is narrower than ever.
He explained: “The season before, it was Aston Villa who came down and took a while to adjust to the Championship and they're flying at this moment in time.
“Sunderland have come down and found it tough as well. I don't think it is as easy as it was coming down from the Premier League.
“Because of the parachute payments a dozen or so teams have the finances to compete at the top level.”
Chris Coleman has been tasked with keeping the Black Cats out of the third tier and Smith admitted he was surprised to see the former Wales boss move to Wearside, given the job he had done with his country.
He said: “It took a lot of people by surprise as he'd done so well with the Welsh national team. They were fantastic in the European Championships and he did a great job there everyone has respect for what he did.
“It's like a lot of these big clubs and Leeds United comes to mind. As a coach, you believe you can turn them around and get them where their fanbase believes they deserve to be. He'll be arresting the slump they've been in.”
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