Josh Maja has called on his Sunderland team-mates to put right the Cardiff City humiliation when fellow strugglers Hull City visit, writes Richard Mennear.
Sunderland are entrenched in a fight for Championship survival ahead of a huge relegation scrap at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.
And Maja - in line to lead the Sunderland attack - says the worst thing Sunderland can do is feel sorry for themselves.
Sunderland were thumped 4-0 by Cardiff City last weekend after a dismal second half performance and will look to quickly bounce back against fifth-bottom Hull.
Maja, 19, said: “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to keep fighting. We have to stick together and keep believing.
“We just have to keep believing that we can get the results we need and keep putting the work in on the training pitches and hopefully it will show against Hull.
“We need to pick up this week in training and get the boys going, get some confidence into the team and hopefully we can get results.
“The most important thing is to keep working hard and show I am willing to fight for this team.”
Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland beat Fulham in mid-December to end their near year-long home hoodoo but since then have drawn with Birmingham City and been beaten by Barnsley on home soil.
Hull have only managed one more win than Sunderland this season and head to Wearside just three points ahead of the Black Cats.
There is no hiding the importance of a Sunderland win tomorrow, especially on the back of the desperate 4-0 thrashing at Cardiff.
Maja added: “It is a very big game.
“We go into it on the back of a defeat, it was a tough one to take for the lads, but hopefully we can get a result against Hull and put it right.”
Sunderland have so far only signed Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter, 20, on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Coleman and chief executive Martin Bain are working tirelessly to add strikers to the squad, with the Black Cats boss currently relying on teenage forwards Maja and Joel Asoro.
Clarke-Salter was part of a Sunderland defence that shipped four goals at Cardiff but Maja has been impressed with the promising defender.
Maja added: “Jake has come into the squad and has been very good. He has been very composed, he is a strong and willing defender and he seems a very good player.”