This is the toughest task facing Sunderland boss ahead of must-win Preston game
With the matches Sunderland have remaining now worryingly in single figures, the odds of surviving are getting longer.
It is Preston at home next and what should be an opportunity for three points just seems to be a massive weight on these players’ shoulders as they just can’t handle playing at the Stadium of Light.
Even Chris Coleman admitted that after the last home game against Aston Villa, so his job of lifting players who look so broken mentally remains his toughest task.
The situation Sunderland are in right now is desperate.
Everyone knows that but thanks to the fact that there are other bad teams down at the bottom of the Championship it is not yet, anyhow, quite an impossible one.
Of the nine league games left, five are at home: Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Norwich City, Burton Albion and lastly Wolves – the only one in the top six.
So, there should be opportunities to get wins but only if – and it is a massive IF – the Sunderland players believe they can do it.
Preston come to Wearside this weekend on the back of a defeat to Fulham but as they still have an outside chance of the Championship play-offs, they certainly won’t be coasting on Saturday – unfortunately.
Sunderland have got to start helping themselves, though.
Stop the ridiculous self-inflicted errors and play with courage and pride.
Do that and the Sunderland fans will respond and just maybe things will get better.