Steve Bruce hopes Sunderland can end their poor home form when the face rock-bottom Wigan at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The Black Cats have only managed two league wins on home soil throughout the entire calendar year, the last one an impressive 4-0 mauling of Stoke in September.
But the former Manchester United defender insists it's not his side's mentality that's holding them back.
"It's not psychological, certainly not," Bruce told reporters. "We have lost two at home [this season], and one of those was against Chelsea.
"We must improve on it, it can get better and if we have a really good home performance, I think that will just settle everybody down.
"Since the turn of the year, the home form has been disappointing, there's no disputing that," he conceded.
"The one thing you need is to play well in front of your home supporters, but I think the vast majority can see what we are trying to do and see that we are improving."
Despite their poor run Bruce feels his side have been unfortunate, and have only underperformed once during the campaign, before citing their encouraging displays against the league's elite clubs.
"I only think we have played badly once, which was Norwich," he added. "In the games we have played, we have shown a bit of character and something about us.
"We gave a great account of ourselves at Anfield, we did well at the Emirates, we did very well at Old Trafford, where we could have picked up something.
"But the way we have played has encouraged me to say we are not far short. It will take a little bit of time."
Sunderland currently reside in 15th place on 11 points ahead of Wigan's visit. The Latics foot the Premier League table on six points after 12 matches played.