Sunderland boss Chris Coleman issues strong message to Jack Rodwell
Chris Coleman has no doubts over Jack Rodwell's ability but says he has to play more and has to 'offer himself up more' if he is to turn his Sunderland career around.
Sunderland spent Â£10million to bring the former Everton midfielder to Wearside from Manchester City in the summer of 2014 but the midfielder has since struggled to justify his price tag and win over the Sunderland faithful.
Rodwell, still only 26, was the only player in the Sunderland squad relegated from the Premier League not to have an automatic pay-cut clause in his contract in the event of relegation, with the midfielder the club's highest earner on Â£60,000 a week in the Championship.
Coleman was asked about Rodwell, who wasn't in the squad for the 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa after picking up an injury in training, ahead of Saturday's trip to Burton Albion.
The new Sunderland boss said he is happy to help Rodwell but says it is down to the individual.
Coleman, who only took charge last weekend, said: "I think you have to look at Jack and think talent wise he is a very, very good player and he hasn't played a lot.
"He has been here two or three years, I think. An individual has to want to change himself, forget about good advice here, good advice there.
"Unless you want to change yourself and do something yourself then it doesn't matter what anybody says to anybody.
"Ability wise, all day long, great ability but of course you have got to look and say 'you have got to play more Jack, you have to offer yourself up to it more'.
"Talent wise it is a no-brainer but we need Jack to be on the pitch not in the treatment room but that is down to Jack Rodwell.
"He has got to want to do that because if you are the type of person that needs pushing all the time then you are the type of person in life that you don't accept accountability.
"We are all accountable. It is as simple as that."
The midfielder struggled to force his way into Simon Grayson’s first-team plans this season after missing the bulk of Sunderland’s pre-season schedule through injury.
In a bid to revive his career Rodwell has been playing as a centre-back for Elliott Dickman's Under-23 side in recent weeks.
Rodwell made 23 appearances as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League but he has made just three first team appearances this campaign, two in the Championship and one in the League Cup, and a further three appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy.