The Tykes in second and the Black Cats in third face off this evening in a crucial League One automatic promotion clash.
A win for Daniel Stendel's men and they open up a seven-point advantage, however three points for Sunderland and they'll close the gap to just one point with a game in-hand.
"Sunderland are a massive club. They’ve got players who don’t belong at this level," he told the official club website.
"We are well aware of what a challenge we have in front of us. We aren’t going to pretend. This is a big game. We can increase the gap, they could close it."
Reported Sunderland target Ross Sykes has penned a new long-term deal with League One rivals Accrington Stanley.
The 19-year-old was linked with a move to Wearside last week when the Lancashire Telegraph wrote that the Black Cats had been sniffing around the defender.
However, initial speculation over a potential transfer failed to develop and Sykes has since committed his future to Stanley as his current contract was due to expire in the summer.
The former Burnley youngster signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Wham Stadium, which also includes an option for a further year.
Luton Town have received planning permission for a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park, which will help finance their new stadium.
The Hatters were given planning permission to build a new 17,500 all-seater stadium in the town centre in January and have now taken another step forward.
Luton Borough Council passed the planning application on Monday evening after a development committee meeting at Luton Town Hall.
The development includes new offices, shops, leisure facilities, restaurants, bars and a 300-bed hotel.
Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has urged his players not to throw away a golden opportunity to reach the League One play-offs.
Since taking the reigns at Posh for a third time from Steve Evans in late January, Ferguson has guided Posh to two wins and four defeats in his opening six matches.
And despite no noticeable improvement, Posh still remain just outside the playoffs places, where Ferguson has pleaded for his players to not waste the opportunity.
You can read what Ferguson said HERE ahead of this evening's clash with bottom-of-the-table AFC Wimbledon.
Portsmouth fans have snapped up nearly 24,000 tickets for the Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland at Wembley.
More than 15,000 tickets are still available to the Pompey-faithful and chief executive Mark Catlin insists he is not surprised by the terrific support.
"It is no surprise our fans have once again shown their fantastic backing for Kenny (Jackett) and the boys," he said.
"That superb support is sure to be a boost to the team when they take to the pitch at Wembley, for what is sure to be a memorable day.
"We appreciate that fans have had to be patient with so many trying to buy over the phone and online, and are grateful for your continued backing."
In League Two, Crawley Town director of football Selim Gaygusuz believes that under pressure head coach Gabriele Cioffi should be given more time to build his squad.
Cioffi took over at Crawley from Harry Kewell in September and although his tenure started well, the side's form has dipped of late.
The Reds have only won six of their last 28 games while Saturday’s 2-0 win against Grimsby ended a goal drought of only scoring three goals in their previous eight games.
You can read what Gaygusuz told the Straight Red Podcast HERE.