Phil Parkinson put Sunderland’s resurgence down to the work his players have done in training.
The 4-0 demolition of Wycombe means the Black Cats have won three of their last four games – form which contrasts sharply with Parkinson’s first 14 games in charge.
His reign began with a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe in October.
But by the 21st-minute of this game at the Stadium of Light they were 3-0 up through goals from Charlie Wyke, Denver Hume and Chris Maguire.
Maguire scored again late on to seal a win that takes the Black Cats up to sixth and knocked Wycombe off the top.
“It’s been a combination of working on how we’re playing and finding a way of playing in terms of the shape of the team,” said Parkinson.
“The fitness of the lads has definitely gone up and that is a credit to them, the work they’ve done during the week and in training.
“We saw that over Christmas when the games came thick and fast.
“There’s a real togetherness and determination among the lads and we’ve got to keep it right and we’ll start again in training on Monday.
“When the (team at the) top of the league come to your home patch you have got to make a statement, and we’ve done that with the manner of the performance.
“I can feel the momentum building within the group. We’ve got to make sure we keep our feet on the ground and concentrate on all the elements we need to keep putting in performances like that.”
Hume’s goal made it 2-0 after 16 minutes – a low finish from 12 yards – and Parkinson added: “I was so pleased with Denver’s goal.
“I’ve got a right-sided centre-back crossing it and the left wing-back getting into the box and finishing.
“That goal has been coming from Denver. He is a very good finisher, you see it all the time in training, and he finished with real confidence and there is more to come from him in that department I’m sure.”
The result saw Wycombe leapfrogged at the top by Rotherham, but boss Gareth Ainsworth had no qualms.
He said: “Sunderland were much better than us. Credit to them; they’ve really got it together and become a force to be reckoned with.
“The penalty really killed us off. We always back ourselves, even two goals down, but the speed of goals going in against us took any wind out of our sails.
“But we won’t get too down. Yes, it’s a bad run, having played some really strong teams, but I’m still smiling.
“I know where a club our size should be, and I know where we are.”