Hat-trick hero Chris Maguire insisted the credit should be shared with his team-mates after his dream return to the Stadium of Light.
His three goals sealed a memorable 3-1 win for the Imps, but he was quick to pay tribute to the rest of the squad.
“I got the goals but it’s a great team performance – we can see it coming together for us on the pitch,” said the Scotsman.
“A hat-trick is a great achievement but the points for the team are more important. They’re top of the league because they’re doing things well, but we’ve shown we can compete with them.”
Maguire spent three years with the Black Cats prior to joining City, and was keen to stress his respect for the club and supporters.
"I’ve got great respect for the Sunderland fans and I’ve got great respect for them, but in football we move on and have the three points to take back to Lincoln," he added.
"I played here for three years, it’s a great place to play and an even better place to win."