Chris Coleman hails Sunderland support and wants chance to 'put things right'

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
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Chris Coleman has praised the Sunderland support and hopes he gets the chance to 'put things right' following relegation to League One.

The Sunderland boss admits he is in the dark as much as anyone given the huge uncertainty surrounding the club given Ellis Short's ongoing attempts to sell the club.

But he is determined to lead next season's promotion push back to the Championship.

Coleman, his backroom staff and the first team squad were at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night to honour a commitment to attend the Supporters’ Association Player of the Year awards.

John O'Shea won the main award, with Joel Asoro picking up the young player of the year.

Coleman admits he was humbled by the response of the fans despite another torrid season for the club, with Sunderland relegated to League One with two games to spare.

Coleman, speaking ahead of the trip to Fulham, said: "The supporters last night were - I don’t have the words to describe how good they were with us.

"We didn’t deserve anything from them.

"I said I wanted to come and manage Sunderland. That’s where I am. It hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to go, but I’m still here and I’d still like the opportunity to put things right here.

"That won’t be my decision, it will be someone else’s, who I don’t know. I think it’s a great football club.

"It’s in a position where it’s very tough and it’s attached with a lot of negativity. We’ve not been able to stop the slide, but it’s still a great football club.

"We’re an easy target, and no doubt that’s what’s coming. But it won’t always be like that. We won’t always be where we are.

"The sooner we know who it is that’s going to be here and what the plan is, then at least we can get on with things and start moving forward. But at the minute, it’s complete darkness."

More than 200 supporters turned out for the awards evening which was held in Quinn’s Bar at the Stadium of Light.

They cast their votes to award a Supporters’ Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Ladies Player of the Year and Ladies Young Player of the Year.

Bridget Galloway and Lucy Staniforth picked up the Ladies’ player of the year awards.

Speaking about the award, O’Shea said: "The fans travel and spend their hard-earned money, and while all those things involve being a supporter of any football club, what I’ve witnessed in the years I’ve been at Sunderland – the passion and loyalty in difficult times – has been incredible.

"It’s been a difficult season all round and when you pick up individual rewards in a team game it’s always nice, but ultimately it’s about the team succeeding and we haven’t succeeded this season.

"I just hope that a lot of things get moving quickly and things bounce back, as we know they can in football."

Asoro added: "The last week has been very tough and it’s been hard to think about what’s happened, but everyone has to learn from it and make sure we bounce back.

"Sunderland fans still love the players even after everything that’s happened, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for us."