Connor Wickham says Sunderland are hunting down the clubs above them in the Premier League table, rather than worrying about the form of those below.
Sunday's 1-0 local derby win over Newcastle United lifted the Wearsiders three points and three places clear of Queens Park Rangers in 18th.
West Bromwich Albion, a place above the Black Cats, are four points ahead and there is a six-point gap to Newcastle.
"We're looking at who we can catch," forward Wickham told BBC Newcastle.
"We're not looking down, we're looking at who we can suck in and put in the fight instead of ourselves."
Sunderland have won one and lost one since Dick Advocaat replaced Gus Poyet in charge at the Stadium of Light.
Their survival hopes rest on the final seven games, three of them coming against sides in the bottom half of the table.
|Sunderland's last seven games|
|11 April Crystal Palace (h)*||16 May Leicester City (h)|
|25 April Stoke City (a)||20 May Arsenal (a)|
|2 May Southampton (h)||24 May Chelsea (a)|
|9 May Everton (a)||*bold indicates bottom-half opposition|
The outcome of those matches could have a significant bearing on Sunderland's fate, with the final two games being trips to the current top two - Arsenal and Chelsea.
"You look at last season and it says it all - we beat Manchester United, we beat Chelsea away and we drew with Manchester City," said Wickham, 22.
"I don't think we need to write the last two games off at all, we've got important games coming up that we need to take points from.
"If we take the points from the games coming up, we can be in a positive mind going into the last two."
Wickham has played wide and centrally for Sunderland this season, but has operated as part of a settled front three alongside Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher in their last two games.
"Consistency is important in a team and we've only got seven games left," Wickham added.
"They're important games and we need everyone to play a part, but I want to play football and I've got two great players around me in Steven Fletcher and Jermain Defoe."