Sunderland stopper explains the difference Chris Coleman has made and hails travelling support

Robbin Ruiter hailed Chris Coleman's tactical switch and says the Black Cats manager's faith in the squad will help haul them away from trouble.

Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 4:08 pm
Chris Coleman

Sunderland moved to a back five to repel high-flying Wolves and Ruiter says the point was testament to Coleman’s training ground influence.

He said: “If course it was a different shape than we’re used to in the last couple of months but it worked pretty well.

WWC 0-0 SAFC 09-12-2027. Picture by FRANK REID

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“We train on what he says and the manager gave some tips and helped us with how to set up.

“We worked on it really hard and I’m really glad it paid off.

“A lot of things have changed for us. It’s a different manager.

“Simon was a great guy and a good manager but this manager works in a different way and we work a lot on how the shape is and how we have to be in our organisation.

WWC 0-0 SAFC 09-12-2027. Picture by FRANK REID

“If everybody knows his role in the organisation it’s easier to rely on each other,” he said.

“So if John makes two steps one way it’s important that Ty or Marc do the same, things like that.

“Before we didn’t always do that and now we can rely on each other and everybody has more confidence because of that.”

“He gives people confidence. After a mistake it’s not a case of the only way being to the stands or the bench,” he added.

“He wants us to play football from the back when it’s possible and when we do we can make mistakes, that’s no problem.

“It’s all about intention. He’d rather you make a mistake with the right intention than be scared and kick the ball away, and that’s a big difference.

“You know you are able to make mistakes. You are allowed to make mistakes, but not too often of course.”

Ruiter was also pleased to see his side show their togetherness after a second half red for Lee Cattermole and admits it is crucial that supporters can see that from the team.

He said: “I’ve said before, it’s normal that the fans at Sunderland are grumpy over the last couple of months.

“We didn’t show them our best and Sunderland is their life.

“If you see how many people were in the stadium again, it’s not half an hour’s drive, it’s a couple of hours and they all came to support us.

“That gives us a big boost and that’s really important to show what we can do.

“It’s important for the fans to see we were fighting,” he added.

“They all know we can make mistakes and that’s no problem.

“They deserve from us that we fight for every ball and do what we can and if we are sloppy or not concentrated they will be angry.

“I think they were proud of us and we were happy to have them there.”