Chris Coleman: We have to be braver, it is like replaying a bad movie at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
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Chris Coleman says his Sunderland side must be braver at the Stadium of Light after being left ‘gutted’ by their meek surrender against Aston Villa.

Coleman’s side fell to a tame 3-0 defeat last Tuesday, extending their woeful home record this season.

They have won just twice on Wearside and face a tricky test against Alex Neil’s high-flying Preston North End on Saturday.

Coleman admitted that watching Sunderland must be like ‘replaying a bad movie’ for supporters.

“At home, if we tried to build and it breaks down, there’s a reaction and we start to play safe, we don’t want to disappoint people,” he said.

“There’s two different things, a measured long pass or your kick it anywhere.

“Fletch, for example was doing OK against Villa to begin with, battling against the two best centre-backs you’ll see at this level, but you gift them that second goal and it is unbearable. That it is so tough.

“The supporters are staying with us but it is like replaying a bad movie. What do you expect? You get what you’re going to get.”

Coleman was left furious by the defending for Villa’s second goal and admitted that he and his coaching staff had to take their share of the blame.

He said: “We never had a say against Villa and that upset me. We sat here after Bristol City, we conceded in the first five minutes, a simple pass into the box and we’re nowhere to be seen.

“We get back to 3-3 and we’re hitting each other out the way to head the ball, as if somebody has said, ‘I’ve got your two children here and if you don’t head it away you won’t see them for six weeks’.

“It is mentality and it is tough to instill it. I think the players have got it they are just too nervous. We have enough experience to do it and where we are, that’s danger, seeing it happen again.

“It doesn’t say a lot for us, as a group, me, the staff, the players, it doesn’t say a lot for us that we let that happen again. It gutted me that we gave it away like that.”

Ashley Fletcher endured another difficult afternoon at QPR as Sunderland fell to a 1-0 defeat, with away supporters cheering Josh Maja’s introduction late in the game.

Coleman has a decision to make this Saturday, but whoever plays, Coleman says it is down to the entire team to be braver and specifically, get more bodies in the box.

He said: “Even when Fletch wasn’t there we did the same things, getting nervous, no measured passes. But the man on the ball doesn’t make the pass, the man that makes a good run makes the pass.

“At home, we play conservative, not enough bodies in the final third in case the move breaks down, in case we can’t get back.

“We haven’t enough movement in the right areas I think, we haven’t had the hunger in the right areas. We don’t work Monday to Friday saying, only you and you can attack, let’s sit back, that’s just nerves.

“Fletch is better with his feet, his potential is in his movement. Of course he isn’t playing with confidence now but I keep my fingers crossed because if it kicks in I think he could be very useful for us.

“He’s getting criticised as we all are but he’ll be bigger and better for that. We have to use our attacking players better, get them high up the pitch, gamble more.”