Chris Coleman admits that Sunderland’s inability to produce consistent results has been the biggest frustration of his time in charge so far.
The Black Cats are yet to produce back-to-back league wins during his tenure, a trend that predates his arrival.
Indeed, the last time Sunderland registered two league wins in a row was November 2016. Coleman has been pleased with his team’s progress on some fronts, but knows he must change that statistic quickly if they are to survive in the second tier.
He said: “That’s the frustration. We’re not getting walloped each week and then when we win, we think ‘this is it’.
“We must start putting runs together, back-to-back wins to make the table look better and it gives you confidence, but we haven’t done that all season.
“There’s a lack of belief and key areas where we must improve with a little bit of help from outside.”
Making those additions will define the season and Coleman is also hopeful that he can get some key players back to fitness.
Coleman’s assistant Kit Symons could only watch on in horror as Duncan Watmore and Jonny Williams went down with long-term injuries the day before his arrival.
The situation has only worsened since then and Coleman has had to constantly shuffle his pack, still searching for the right players to implement his preferred system and philosophy.
He said: “Before I arrived I looked at the squad and I thought ‘okay’ there’s five, six seven players out missing, and now it’s 11.
“It amplifies the challenge, if we don’t do better in terms of numbers and quickly establish who wants to be here and in a relegation dogfight and who want to help out in the spotlight with all the pressure and take responsibility.
“The boys out there on the pitch, they’re the ones who are there or thereabouts and we need to help them and get some boys back from injury while getting in some fresh faces.”
The Black Cats boss hopes to further signings after sealing a deal for Chelsea centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter.