Brentford is a must-win game for Sunderland and the players must not buckle under pressure

Sunderland players celebrate their late equaliser at Ashton Gate.
Sunderland players celebrate their late equaliser at Ashton Gate.
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Sunderland, with the wind in their sails for once thanks to that uplifting point at Bristol City, have a great chance to build on it when Brentford come to Wearside on Saturday.

Saying that, Brentford will fancy their chances as it is not Sunderland’s away form that has let them down, it has been their wretched form on home soil underlined by an astonishing eight defeats so far and the Brentford players will be well aware of that statistic.

SAFC coverage in association with John G Hogg Funeral Directors.

SAFC coverage in association with John G Hogg Funeral Directors.

Brentford aren’t the best team to come to the Stadium of Light this season, but there have been many worse that we have failed to beat and I can imagine their players can’t wait to play at a great stadium against players they will know can buckle under the pressure of expectation when they play at home.

As great as that comeback at Ashton Gate was, it hasn’t solved the home problems one bit, but surely it must have convinced the players that a game lasts 90 minutes and if things don’t go to plan early on, it is not the end of the world.

We have been in this position before were an encouraging performance or result has looked like a turning point but invariably it has been followed by a bad result and it is back to square one.

Chris Coleman has some massive decisions to make on Saturday regarding team selection and tactics so I imagine he will be monitoring his players all week in training and agonising over what system to use.

Does he stick to the three centre backs or go with a flat back four that helped change the game at Bristol City?

He must also be tempted to start with Kazenga LuaLua and Aiden McGeady and with players coming back from injury it is a problem the manager will be happy to have.

Whatever team and formation he does go for, though, will be fruitless if the players can’t cope mentally with what most fans will see as a must win game.