Birmingham City draw a 'missed opportunity' admits Sunderland boss Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman admits Sunderland's 1-1 draw with Birmingham City was a "missed opportunity".

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 5:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 5:25 pm
Robbin Ruiter can't prevent Birmingham City's goal.

The Black Cats ended their home hoodoo last weekend with the 1-0 win over Fulham but they were unable to make it back-to-back wins and had to settle for a point, which saw them slip back into the Championship relegation zone.

Sam Gallagher put Steve Cotterill's Blues in front after just 16 minutes, a ball over the top not dealt with and Gallagher finished the rebound after his first attempt was blocked by Marc Wilson.

Sunderland didn't fold and quickly regrouped, top scorer Lewis Grabban scoring his 12th of the season from close range after a Donald Love cross.

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Gallagher saw red in the second half, dismissed after 67 minutes but Sunderland were unable to capitalise on having the man advantage, a frustrating finish to the game.

Coleman said: "I was disappointed, it was an opportunity missed.

"Overall performance we were nervous and lacked confidence for some reason. We went 1-0 down but showed good conviction and didn't fold and got back in the game.

"We didn't go under. Showed courage. I expected us to go and win it. Key moments in the game we lacked conviction and confidence offensively.

"I'm not just talking about the strikers, the whole team, when we got into good areas.

"A lot of these games, this game was always going to be different to last. We are in a relegation dogfight at the moment, we were fourth bottom they were bottom.

"We knew it would be a dogfight before we kicked the ball.

"Of all the performances since I have been here, this was the one when we looked nervous.

"Today I expected more from us in possession. I don't know why we were tentative. You have to block everything out and just focus on yourself.

"I was a bit disappointed from that perspective, dropping two points at home so we missed an opportunity.

"It could have been worse, when we went 1-0 down it could have been 'here we go again'".

Sunderland have picked up four points from their two home games this week ahead of back-to-back away games at Sheffield United on Boxing Day and Nottingham Forest next Saturday.

Coleman added: "We could have dealt with their goal better, it was a ball over the top.

"They did it very well and once we got back into the game I thought we would do it then.

"We then had one or two moments where you think this is it and it didn't happen, it fizzled out.

"Thankfully they didn't hit us on the counter attack, it could have been worse."