O’Shea backing Chris Coleman to forge strong squad and beat relegation

John O'Shea
John O'Shea

John O’Shea has backed Chris Coleman to build a strong group at Sunderland and hopes he can get the support he needs to bring players in this month.

Coleman signed centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter earlier this week and O’Shea is confident that with some additions the Black Cats can find the consistency to climb away from danger.

He said: “The way the Championship is, we could be out of the bottom three quickly.

“Our own objective in the club is to be out of there very quickly.

“The manager is going to need help from the owner, fingers crossed he will get that.

“If he doesn’t, then everyone here will have to step up, and hope the manager can do loans or whatever in the next couple of weeks.

“We have to do the best we can, look forward to the challenges ahead and push our chests out and be ready for it.

“It’s all well and good talking about games and numbers, that’s what we have to do, we have games in front of us.

“The manager has spoken about the players at the club, the players who want to be here at the minute.

“That’s the people we need here, the people who want to face that challenge, then it’s about rebuilding with the players who want to be here and want to be dedicated to the club and to make Sunderland challenge at the right end of the table and in the right leagues as well.

“The manager is trying to instil the idea of ‘we have been picking up more clean sheets, wins’ but we have not got that consistency yet.

“He is trying to get the right people into the building, the club, that want to fight and show they want to play for Sunderland.

“If those things can happen then we will be better for sure.”

O’Shea has called on his team-mates to embrace the challenge of beating the drop and has been buoyed by the breakthrough of a number of young players this season.

He said: “We are healthy and doing a job we are very lucky to be doing.

“This is our first season in the Championship for a number of years, God knows how many consecutively in the Premier League as a club, we got to a final a few years ago, the club did enjoy good times, but things have not gone to plan in recent years clearly.

“We are still in a privileged position to get paid for playing football, we have to remember that and try to enjoy our football. We are representing a club where we are, the area and we have to continue to try to improve what we are doing.

“The kids coming through in recent years, it has been crucial in last few years, it’s going to be more crucial over the coming years because they will be vital to this club having a brighter future.

“That should always be key to this football club because they understand the area and the people.

“It’s not good for young boys coming into the team because there is more pressure, there’s more under current of a negative feeling, they are getting a steep learning curve in professional football.”

The centre-back has been encouraged by Clarke-Salter in the youngster’s early training sessions and hopes he can follow Tyias Browning in becoming a regular in the Sunderland defence.

He said: “He trained yesterday, very positive. Great vocally, technically he looks to be a very good talent and let’s just let him settle in and enjoy the experience.

“I remember the first couple of loans I had, it can be daunting. He has gone from a massive club and is willing to come and fight to keep us up, that’s a positive because he will have had other options. Anyone who comes in will have a chance to play if they can maintain the level of performance that will be crucial.”