Chris Coleman challenges Sunderland squad to deliver more as January search gathers pace

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.
0
Have your say

January transfers will be crucial to Sunderland’s Championship fate but Chris Coleman has also admitted that he needs to get more out of his current crop.

The Black Cats have improved since Coleman’s arrival but the disappointing defeat to Barnsley on new year’s day left them bottom of the table ahead of this weekend’s trip to Cardiff City.

Consistency has been an issue and Sunderland are yet to complete back-to-back wins in the league.

A number of senior players have struggled for form and Coleman has asked to see a better reaction to adversity from his squad.

He said: “We’ve got to try and squeeze every last drop out of all of them. It’s just a state of mind, a state of mind of, if you’re playing and you make a mistake, not standing round and shaking your head, getting on with it, try and help in some capacity.

“We can’t have anyone standing around and feeling sorry for themselves, they’ve got to get on with it.

“If you make a mistake, you can understand, it’s about the intent,” he added.

“We’ve got to squeeze everything out of them, it is as simple as that.

“Every game now is a huge pressure game, you can either handle that or you can’t, perform in it or you can’t. Only time will tell who will do that.”

Sunderland have struggled to score goals in recent weeks as injuries have taken hold and top scorer Lewis Grabban returned to Bournemouth.

A number of summer signings have seen their form dip with Aiden McGeady, Callum McManaman and James Vaughan all struggling to hold down a regular place since Coleman arrived on Wearside.

The Sunderland boss has also been left to bemoan some poor individual errors at the other end of the pitch, even if their clean sheet record has improved dramatically in recent months.

Coleman wants to see players showing their talents on a weekly basis as he tries to lift them away from trouble.

He said: “Every player has their responsibility. If you’re an offensive player and you’re not creating and not working hard enough without the ball, if you’re a defensive player and you let your man go and he scores, that is your responsibility, simple as that.

“It’s ‘What are you good at? Are you doing it?’ If so, great. If not, why? You’re accountable for that no matter what position.

“If you’re a creative player and you’ve got trickery and you’ve got craft, let’s see it then. Let’s make sure you do it more often than not.

“If you’re a defensive player, let’s look at how many goals we’re conceding. Are we conceding from crosses, it is your man getting free to score? You’re accountable for that and that goes for every position.”

Despite that, Coleman believes that with some further additions this month, he has the character in his squad to survive.

He said: “When you’re sitting where we are it’s very real but we’ve got enough good characters in the dressing room with one or two of them missing, get them back and again I have to emphasise it’ll be a big window for us in what we do to add to what we’ve got. It’ll be a big window for us.”