Chris Coleman weighs up options and admits attack will be best form of defence for Sunderland
Sunderland's continued habit of throwing away goals has convinced Chris Coleman that attack will be the best form of defence against QPR.
The Black Cats travel to Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon in dire need of three points, having won just once in 2018.
Despite their poor form Sunderland remain four points from safety, though Coleman is well aware that they cannot expect other teams to keep failing.
He was left appalled by the defending on Tuesday night as three goals were shipped against Aston Villa, and his selection dilemmas have been somewhat simplified by a defensive crisis.
A switch to a four-man defence seems certain with Tyias Browning, Jake Clarke-Salter and perhaps John O'Shea all unavailable.
Coleman admits that the best chance of winning is to put QPR on the back foot.
He said: "We've made a rod for our own back with each game that passes.
"There's always more pressure on the next one and the next one, especially when you are bottom of the league.
"But I look at it as a chance to win, a chance to break our duck if you like, and turn the corner.
"I'm not put off by it, I'm not afraid of it, I look forward to it because it is a chance for us to put things to bed.
"We have to look at it that way, rather than go down there and try to nick a sneaky goal and defend for 90 minutes.
"We've proved that we can't defend for 90 minutes, that's not how you get things done.
"We have to come out of our shell, we have to attack, we have to create, and we have to somehow overcome one or two psychological barriers and get the job done.
"The players are capable of doing that, but they have to go and do it.
"I look at the run of games coming up and think let's get to it, let's put a smile back on everyone's faces.
"We've had it for so long where everyone has been gloomy, but one win might get people thinking 'maybe, just maybe'.
"We haven't given anyone reason for that optimism for a long time, we've made a rod for our own backs."
A switch to four defenders would likely open the door for Joel Asoro, who again impressed off the bench against Villa.
The teenager has been struggling with his knee after taking a whack during the 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough. Kazenga LuaLua is another option for Coleman as he nears a full recovery from an ankle problem.
Coleman says his team must ensure they handle the pressure and respond at Loftus Road.
He said: "We haven't won in eight so cracks become chasms and everything you say, everything you do, is scrutinised.
"But I have been here before, I think most of us have, you just have to get on with it unless you bury your head in the sand or walk away from it, and you can't do that – you have to fight it.
"Every game that goes past and we haven't won it and we are still bottom, of course the criticism is going to be there. That's the way it is and I don't have a problem with it.
"But it doesn't change my optimism that we can go out and win a game of football to go out and turn this negativity around, make it into something positive, and then build on it.
"If we cant do that now, if we can't max out now, whoever we pick, whoever we have got, if we can't go above and beyond in this situation, we will never be able to do it.
"Otherwise we will succumb to it and that's the one thing that is unforgivable – giving up, giving in, just taking your medicine.
"You lose, you have a bad time, you have a bad run of games – we lost at Bolton but we performed in a certain manner, we had two draws after that in a certain manner, but Tuesday night's defeat was not the way that you want to lose."