Sunderland went into Saturday’s game against Millwall knowing a win would prevent the club having the outright record for winless home games and the players had the incentive of impressing the new manager-elect.
But all of that still couldn’t inspire them to get that elusive and badly needed home win.
When the news broke on Friday night that Chris Coleman was to be the new boss I thought it was great timing and would galvanise the dressing room as every player wants to impress a new manager even if he wasn’t actually at the game.
However, Coleman had Kit Symons representing him and he will have had all the reports so he will be well aware of everything that happened - the good, the bad and the ugly during the 90 minutes against Millwall and there was plenty of all three.
The former Wales boss will be well aware he has plenty of work to do, but I don’t believe for a minute that Sunderland are a lost cause.
It is a tough job but certainly not an impossible one.
After more than two weeks of uncertainty, Ellis Short and Martin Bain finally got their man and in our position I don’t think we could have done any better and it was heartening after more refusals that a manager of his stature actually wanted the job.
Coming in with the club rooted to the bottom, confidence low and that unwanted home record has scared off others, but I think Coleman sees beyond that.
Coleman knows he is joining a club with huge potential and a squad that is lacking organisation and leadership yes, but is better than the table suggests.
So lifting morale and getting the best out of the players will be top of his list and he must find Sunderland’s best starting XI and system – something Simon Grayson failed to do.
He also has time on his side, as there is a lot more of the season to go than has been played.
It is not like he is joining in March or April with Sunderland needing a miracle, which should allow him to get his ideas across and if he is as good a manager as his reputation then he will bring that organisation and team work to the players and get the team moving up the table.
The Millwall game was so typical of our home games this season, another win thrown away against a limited team when it was there for the taking.
Saving Sunderland from relegation is Chris Coleman’s job now, but I think he knows he has the tools and the time to get the job done and wake up a sleeping giant, otherwise why take the job.