Chris Coleman discusses goalkeeping situation and lays down gauntlet to Sunderland wingers

Chris Coleman has laid down the gauntlet to Callum McManaman and Aiden McGeady by challenging them to take control of Sunderland's matches.

Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 6:00 am
SAFC 3-3 MFC, Stadium of Light. 24-02-2018. Picture by FRANK REID

Both have impressed from the bench in recent games, with McManaman in particular catching the eye against both Bolton Wanderers and Middlesbrough.

Coleman’s favoured formation has rarely left room for natural wingers but the suspension to Jake Clarke-Salter could open the door.

Coleman said: “Both players are gifted players, in one-v-one situations they can be a defender’s nightmare. We’ll need that.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“In the last few games Callum has had a real spark, looked lively and been more direct as we’ve asked him to be.

“Both playing at the same time can offer a lot to us offensively, we’re going to need every player.

“The team may well change for Tuesday [Villa] so everyone needs to be ready. They’re all capable but they’ve got to implement that talent during the game .

“The challenge is for us to do it at 0-0, from the start, in and out of possession.

“We have to stay in the game, not wait to go one or two-nil down and then we start playing and trying to drag ourselves back.

“When it’s 0-0, we have to stay in the game and create for ourselves, be brave from the very first kick of the game.

“We have to stay together as a unit, whether that means digging in to defend for 10 minutes or whatever, then when it is our time to attack we have to go for it.

“But whatever we do, we have to do it together as a unit, as a team.

“If Callum starts or if Aiden starts, they have to do it from the start – but it’s not just them, it’s everybody.”

Coleman has also given his backing to loan signing Lee Camp after a difficult start to his Sunderland career.

The Black Cats have shipped 11 goals in five games since Camp made his debut, with just three points picked up in that time.

Nevertheless, with Robbin Ruiter likely to miss the rest of the season due to a finegr injury, Coleman has hinted that he will keep faith with the 33-year-old.

He said: “ With Lee, we’ve conceded quite a lot of goals – but I’m not saying that every goal we’ve conceded is Lee’s fault.

“He missed a lot of football with Cardiff but we were in a position where we needed another goalkeeper with his experience at this level in relegation dogfights.

“Lee would be the first to say that we’ve conceded quite a few goals in the last four or five games, but they are not all down to him – it’s a team effort.

“But if you’re a goalkeeper and you make a mistake, it’s very different to being a central midfielder making a mistake, or a striker or a winger not getting a cross in.

“If you make a mistake as a goalkeeper, that’s it – it’s all on you.

“Lee’s experience will be good for us.

“Yes, there have been certain situations where he could have done better – he’d be the first to tell you that – and it will be him and Jason Steele fighting it out between now and the end of the season.

“It will be up to those two to see who is playing the best.”