Sunderland boss reveals why he had to rip up his game-plan for Aston Villa

Chris Coleman hopes to have more options available for the trip to Burton Albion.

Wednesday, 22nd November 2017, 3:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:23 am
Chris Coleman encourages his Sunderland players at Villa Park.

The Sunderland boss revealed as soon as he signed his contract he had a formation and system in mind for the trip to Aston Villa.

But injuries and suspensions left him without 10 first team players for the 2-1 defeat, which left Sunderland bottom of the Championship.

Chris Coleman encourages his Sunderland players at Villa Park.

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Coleman had to rip up his plans and opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation with Darron Gibson in holding midfield and George Honeyman partnering Lynden Gooch in central midfield.

Lee Cattermole served a one-game ban so will return to the squad for the trip to face third-bottom Burton.

At Burton, Coleman will also hope to be able to call on both Didier Ndong, who was given compassionate leave against Millwall and didn’t feature against Villa and Paddy McNair, who was rested.

Coleman said: "As soon as I signed the contract I had a gameplan and formation in my head. That quickly evaporated after assessing certain players on Sunday.

Chris Coleman encourages his Sunderland players at Villa Park.

"We had to revamp everything because we didn’t have the players to play how I wanted to play or the formation I wanted to play against Villa."

Coleman had no complaints about the effort and commitment, adding: "The boys gave their all.

"I am always the first one to say that is not enough in terms of the output, first one to say that isn’t what we are looking for but I couldn’t, not in terms of trying their best - they gave their all. We have not had long with them."

Gooch and Honeyman both won praise for their performances against Villa.

Coleman added: "I think Goochy is more of a No.10 but we didn’t have any more midfielders left.

"Goochy played in a different type of position but ran his socks off, him and Honeyman, both brilliant. And Gibbo [Darron Gibson] in the centre by himself really. He was the only natural holding midfielder we had left, those were our options."