Sunderland AFC briefing - Chris Coleman on Liverpool loanee impact and the squad's change in mentality

Have your say

Chris Coleman believes Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria will reap the rewards of playing in Sunderland's relegation scrap.

The 20-year-old joined Sunderland in January on a loan deal until the end of the season and has since made three appearances.

Ejaria returned to the Sunderland team against Millwall after a spell out with a thigh injury and he won praise from Coleman.

Coleman said: "Ovie's come to us with a little problem with his thigh. He's played the first few games then missed a couple. He's a good player.

"It's hard for him because he's come out of Under-23 football playing for Liverpool in games where they dominate and come to us, bottom of a brutal league, which is very physical, but he's coped very well.

"He's very brave in possession. He's done well but there's more to come from him.

Sunderland midfielder Ovie Ejaria.

Sunderland midfielder Ovie Ejaria.

"I think he'll get better and better with the more games he plays but he's a good player."

* LIVE Sunderland AFC blog - Chris Coleman press conference plus latest team and injury news ahead of Aston Villa
Sunderland remain bottom of the Championship, four points from safety with just 11 games left to play.

The Black Cats picked up a point at Millwall on the back of the point at home to Middlesbrough.

Performances have improved over the past few games but Sunderland are yet to string together the much-needed run of wins that will see them climb out of the drop zone.

Coleman believes the improved performances are down to a change in mentality.

"Mentality. Simple as that," said Coleman.

"Rather than hoping and praying that something will happen, we're trying to make it happen. That's how things get down.

"Nobody gives it to you.

"We're a story because everyone will be looking at Sunderland going, 'Double relegation for a huge club.'

"They'll enjoy us being where we are so our approach is to forget everybody else, nobody likes us, everybody wants us to fail.

"It's great when you prove them wrong. It's very much that siege mentality."