Why Jack Rodwell is out of the first team picture at Sunderland and why Chris Coleman wants to move on

Rodwell in pre-season action at Hibernian
Rodwell in pre-season action at Hibernian
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Jack Rodwell will not feature against Hull City as Chris Coleman said he not been given any indication that the 26-year-old wanted to be part of his plans.

Rodwell told the Daily Mail earlier this week that despite wanting to leave the club, he is 'fitter than he has ever been' and would play against the Tigers this weekend if necessary.

Amid a midfield injury crisis at the club, he has not played any football since a 1-1 draw in the Checkatrade Trophy against Grimsby last November.

Coleman says he was told by the player that he wanted to leave 'some time ago' and has heard nothing to the contrary since then. The Black Cats boss made absolutely clear that his priority was working with the club's young talent.

He said: "[Knocks on table]. That's all I need to hear. A knock on my door: 'Yes Jack.'

'Can we have a chat.'

'Yes.'

'I want to play football.'

'If you want to dig in with us, roll your sleeves up.'

"I haven't had that.

"The last conversation I had with him, he didn't want to be here.

"He wants to play somewhere else.

"I can't drag him onto the pitch and say 'please Jack, come and play football for Sunderland,' and I shouldn't have to.

"We're sitting the day before a big game talking about a player that doesn't want to play for the club.

"I'd rather talk about Asoro or Maja, these players who do want to play for the club, and who can help us, inexperienced though they are," he added.

"They are putting themselves up. We might play badly, we might play well, but they are here and they are having a go at it.

"I don't really want to talk about players who don't want to be here and don't want to have a go at it because that is not going to help us out, although I understand you have to ask the question.

"I'd rather focus on the players who come and knock on my door and say 'why aren't I playing?'

"I like that. That's what I want.

"I don't want to focus on someone who doesn't want to be here.

"It's not personal between me and him. If he doesn't want to be here, he wants to be somewhere else, that's his prerogative – there's nothing I can do about that.

"All I can do is concentrate on the boys that are here and make sure that we try and squeeze every last ounce out of them and get on with that."

Coleman again insisted that he wanted to work with players who were eager to play for the club as he prepares to send out another threadbare squad on Saturday afternoon.

He said: "That's the type I want.

"Whether you are talented or not so talented, it's the mentality I want.

"It's going into situations where you are not guaranteed anything, but you are willing to give everything – even though you might get slapped in the face at the end of it and get no thanks.

"It's those mentalities that you want around you.

"The ones who think 'I'm in a bit of pain, I'm suffering a bit, but we're struggling and I don't want to miss this game'.

"The more of those mentalities you have, and the more situations you go into with that mentality, the more you get away from where you are.

"Not the one's who look at it and go 'that's not for me, actually. The sun's not shining, we are not 3-0 up, it's not March and I haven't got a big holiday around the corner'.

"We don't want them, we don't want those people."