What are Sunderland's survival chances? Chris Coleman gives his verdict

Chris Coleman remains defiant Sunderland have what it takes to get the wins needed to pull off a dramatic survival.

Monday, 2nd April 2018, 8:15 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd April 2018, 8:25 pm
Bryan Oviedo battles for the ball in the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunderland remain second bottom after the 3-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough's late equaliser against bottom-of-the-table Burton Albion.

The Black Cats remain five points from safety after Barnsley's game was postponed and Birmingham City are not in action until Tuesday night.

If the Blues win they could go eight points clear of Sunderland and even the most optimistic of Sunderland fans wouldn't fancy survival chances in that scenario.

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Either way, the likelihood is Sunderland will need to win at least three of their remaining six games if they are to stand any chance of avoiding successive relegations.

Performances have seen a marked improvement over Easter with Sunderland thumping Derby County 4-1 but they couldn't follow that up with another win, despite a good performance, Sheffield Wednesday ran out winners.

Coleman, though, remains confident his players have it within them to get the wins needed - with a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United next up on Saturday.

Coleman said: "The Barnsley game was cancelled and Birmingham play tomorrow but even so nothing's unbridgeable until its mathematically unbridgeable."

When asked if winning at least half the remaining games was a realistic possibility, Coleman said: "If we hadn't done in the last two games what we've done performance-wise I'd say no, it's done.

"But we can go to Leeds and win. It won't be easy but we can go anywhere in this division and win. It happens all the time.

"It was just the run we were on, we weren't really performing.

"But the last two performances were more like it.

"If we do that in the next six games we can win three, that's for sure. It's a big job for us but we have to see Leeds United as the last game of the season for us."

Victory over Derby on Good Friday saw Sunderland go within three points of safety but it was soon five points after Birmingham's victory over Ipswich on Saturday.

When asked whether the mood had changed, Coleman added: "It changed from Saturday morning to Saturday five o'clock because it's three points (the gap), then Birmingham win and it's five points.

"It does change. One big result can change the landscape, we know that. We've just got to not give up, keep pushing.

"It's not like we're a non-league team and we've drawn Leeds United in the FA Cup and it's not going to happen.

"We're in the same league – all right, we're at the wrong end and they're mid-table but it's not inconceivable that we can go there and win a game of football."