Chris Coleman reveals the tactical re-think he’ll have during international break

Jake Clarke-Salter was sent off at the weekend.
Jake Clarke-Salter was sent off at the weekend.
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Chris Coleman is worried Sunderland continue to concede the same goals even with different players in the side.

But he hopes the enforced break will give him and his squad a breather from the relentless Championship campaign and time to come up with some answers.

Sunderland, bottom and seemingly League One-bound, have eight games left to avoid successive relegations.

Five points adrift, the picture looks increasingly bleak.

Coleman hopes the international break, which means Sunderland don’t have a game until Good Friday away at promotion chasing Derby County, has come at a good time.

Sunderland are 10 games without a win and continue to concede soft goals, especially from set pieces.

Sean Maguire was unmarked when he nodded Preston North End in front on Saturday from Paul Gallagher’s free-kick.

Jake Clarke-Salter’s second red card of the season will see him sit out Derby away and Sheffield Wednesday at home on Easter Monday, forcing Coleman into yet another defensive reshuffle.

“If you’re not winning, you look at it and you say we need to change this or that,” said Coleman.

“When you’re in the bottom three, sometimes no matter what you do or how you change it you get the same results and the same performances.

“We’re conceding the same goals with different faces. That’s quite worrying.

“The next two weeks are a little bit of a breather from it, it gives us a breather from where we are and that will give us a little spring maybe.

“It also gives me a chance to step back from it and ask if I can come up with something to change it enough and go down a different path to get different results.

“At the minute I’ve got nothing in mind but for the second week, we’ll have to look at different formations and personnel to get away from the road we’re on at the minute because it’s a pretty negative one.

“It’s a bit of time to re-think things.

“It takes a bit of pressure off everybody because we’ve not got a game coming round in three or five days. Hopefully that’ll help us.”

Coleman won’t look to rearrange a friendly during the break, with the players not involved in international football training at the Academy of Light as usual when they return in midweek from a few days off.

“At this stage they’ve played so many games that another one is the last thing they need,” said Coleman. “They maybe need some time away from each other.

“They can’t be away for too long because then they lose a bit of fitness but I think they need a bit of time away from each other.

“We all need that probably.

“That’s not us going away as a club together, it’s probably just a bit of time at home with their families before we start preparing for Derby.

“They’ll have a few days off this week and be back in the midweek for a few days. The weekend’s quiet and then we’ll prepare again for Friday.”