Chris Coleman happy to make big decisions to turn Sunderland around

Chris Coleman is not afraid to make big selection calls and says the focus has to be on the players fitting into his game-plan.

Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 6:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:53 am
Chris Coleman.

The 47-year-old arrived on Wearside with a big reputation after a hugely successful six-year spell in charge of Wales.

Coleman has brought with him a wave of positivity and no-nonsense approach to the task of reviving and rebuilding Sunderland.

And he is clear that previous experience and reputations count for little when it comes to team selection.

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It is about what he sees on the training pitches at the Academy of Light on a daily basis and his game-plan for the opposition that matters.

That’s what will dictate his team selection, with Sunderland travelling to Wolves on Saturday.

Coleman, who led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, admits his approach will inevitably disappoint players from time to time.

But the Black Cats boss likes to see that from his players as it shows “they care”.

“Whatever the players have done before, I can only pick a team based on what I see through the week,” said Coleman.

“I look at the players’ mentality and physicality, and of course technically I know what they can do, and I will pick and prepare what I think is the best team.

“I’m not bothered if they have no international caps, 15 caps, or 50, if they’ve played in the Premier League or not, I will pick the team that I think is best ready for the next opposition.

“One or two will be disappointed from week to week, but I like that – it shows that they care.

“I look at individuals and ask whether they can fit into my game-plan, and if I feel they can then they will get a chance. I think that’s just me doing my job properly.

“I can’t comment on what has happened before me, last year or the year before with certain players, I can only go with what I see.”

Coleman, who has lost to Aston Villa and Reading and beaten Burton Albion since taking over, takes his struggling Sunderland side to league leaders Wolves this weekend.

And Coleman and his coaching staff have their work cut out at the Academy this week as they look to form a game-plan that can prevent the league’s in-form side, with Wolves boasting the best attack and one of the meanest defences in the division.

Wolves, who have 47 points from their opening 20 games, have taken the Championship by storm this campaign and currently lead second-place Cardiff City by four points.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have scored the most goals with 41 to their name and also boast the second-meanest defence in the second tier with just 17 conceded.

Only Cardiff City have conceded fewer goals ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Molineux.

Sunderland, who have only won two league games all season, have shipped 38 goals, a league high along with Burton.