Chris Coleman's stirring message to Sunderland squad and why you don't want players like wheelbarrows

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
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Chris Coleman is adamant Sunderland can stay up this season and has called on his players to give everything they have for the run-in.

Sunderland are second bottom in the Championship, three points adrift of safety ahead of the visit of Brentford to the Stadium of Light on Saturday (KO 3pm).

With just 15 games left of the campaign, time is running out for Sunderland but Coleman has no doubt the Black Cats have what it takes to survive this season.

"There are lots of points and games still," said Coleman.

"We can do it, 100 per cent. We can do it, I know we can. We will do it with some unity. Let's see tomorrow.

"I'm looking forward to the game, there is so much on it, a lot of pressure but these games when you get it right it can be a springboard for you, there is an opportunity there and we have to take it."

He added: "The only way out of it for us is to concentrate on the next one otherwise we get dragged into negativity."

"All we can concentrate on is what can affect the club, the football on the pitch.

"There is accountability and responsibility. You have to push yourself.

"You don't want players like wheelbarrows who are only good or useful when you push them. First bump in the road they fall over anyway.

"It has to come from yourself, ask yourself a question. If you can't do that then you are dead in the water but we can do it. We have shown glimpses. It is repeating it."

Coleman, who also praised the Sunderland fans for their ongoing support, is likely to make changes to his system and team for the visit of Brentford tomorrow afternoon.

Aiden McGeady and Kazenga LuaLua both made big impacts from the subs bench at Ashton Gate last weekend, Sunderland coming back from 3-0 down to rescue a point.

Coleman admits it can be 'frustrating' managing creative players like McGeady as they are not always consistent but he says on their day they can cause a lot of problems for the opposition.

Coleman, speaking at his pre-match press conference, added: "Yeah, gifted boys are generally like that, players who can score a goal and win a game, sometimes they can be frustrating.

"Aidy came on with Kaz last week, who is getting stronger and fitter, they caused a lot of problems. Very direct.

"We were opening doors and creating chances. Let's see tomorrow, see who we go with. I could have changed anybody at half time and nobody could have had an argument.

"Let's see how we fare in this one, what can we produce tomorrow at home? All of the players, not just one or two. Offensively and defensively, all of them."

Lee Cattermole won praise for his performance in the stirring comeback at Ashton Gate.

"Lee led it really, winning tackles, getting forward, he was very vocal. It can't just be him though, it has to be all of them, fight their corner," added Coleman.

"You are only as good as your weakest man, there is no hiding place for any of us. It is how you cope with that demand and challenge?"