Chris Coleman on how he can lift the mood at Sunderland amid ownership unrest

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman
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Chris Coleman says he can only lift the mood on Wearside by securing the results that will keep the club in the second tier.

Discontent over Ellis Short's ownership continues to grow off the field, with many fans discussing in the last week how to back the popular manager as well as making their displeasure known.

Coleman says he understands the unrest but hopes he can put the club in a position where it can take stock in the summer having avoided the Championship drop.

He said: "We feel the weight of it. A big club like this, how does it end up where it is?

"As much as I can affect the situation, I have to try and separate myself from that and concentrate on making this a season where we look back and say 'that was close', rather than one that ends up with back-to-back relegations.

"It's no good saying what happens off the park shouldn't affect what goes on on the park, but of course it does.

"Every club is the same.

"I'd much rather be sitting here at the end of the season saying we got it over the line, even if at times sometimes it wasn't very pretty. Needs must.

"Then we can take stock of things to see where we go from there as a club, " he added.

"At the moment, I feel all the negativity, all the doom and gloom – another weekend, another week in the bottom three.

"That can get you down, but I can't let it happen.

"There is a match in front of us where fortunes can change just like that."

Coleman praised the loyalty of the Sunderland support and asked for them to stay with his team during what is set to be a tense end to the season.

He said: "I totally get why the fans are annoyed and disappointed, frustrated and angry – of course.

"Where we are at the minute, we are desperate for them to keep supporting us, stay with us and stick with us because we won't get to where we need to without them, that's for sure.

"We need the fans.

"I totally get the frustration and the anger because we are not talking about a month or six months, it has been some time and the club can't seem to get a foothold, and settle down with a bit of positivity and a gameplan going forward.

"They have got to the stage where the club is in the bottom three of the Championship, it's a big football club, why has that happened? There are loads of different opinions on it, and they are angry. I do get it.

"From my point of view, I would say to them that I am absolutely desperate for them to stay with us.

"If we have a bit of harmony, a bit of unity, we have got a chance."