Sunderland winger Adam Johnson believes Saturday's 3-0 win over West Ham was the best performance the club have produced this season.
Goals from Seb Larsson, James McClean and Johnson saw Sunderland claim a well-deserved victory over Sam Allardyce's men.
"The win against West Ham was the best we've played this season," Johnson said. "I know we've played well in spells of games but over 90 minutes I would say that was our best performance.
"We looked threatening and we cut them open so many times. On the whole, everything clicked for us. It took us a bit of time with new players and stuff. It takes time but I think you're starting to see the benefits now of having a few games with each other.
"Everyone's had a massive lift. I don't know whether it was confidence - I don't think we were really lacking in that, but we just needed a performance like that. We looked like a really good team and I hope there'll be more to come in the second half of the season. That's what we're all working towards. If we play like that every week, or most weeks, we're definitely going to pick up points."
The result leaves Sunderland six points clear of the relegation zone.
"We're nearer the top half than the bottom three now and I think that shows the improvement in recent weeks," Johnson said. "We beat City, we got a good win away at Southampton and I think things have picked up overall from earlier on in the season.
"We're looking to the top half, not below. Let's see if we can forget about the teams below us now. I think getting to know each other better could be one of the things. I think it's been hard with everyone coming in. It's been a massive change for the club. There was a lot of expectancy on the club and I think we took a bit of time, but if we can keep performing like that we won't be too worried."
On a personal note, Johnson is relishing the opportunity to play regular games after having limited chances at Manchester City.
"It is just nice for me to be playing week in week out," he added. "I think I've started more games for Sunderland probably than I did in the whole of last season. I think that tells you the story and my game is definitely benefiting from that."