Sebastian Coates has told the Shields Gazette that he is feeling much more confident now that Sam Allardyce is in charge.
The Uruguayan defender has thrived in the 3-5-2 formation that Allardyce has deployed at the Stadium of Light, and he has been one of Sunderland’s most reliable performers in recent weeks.
Coates has looked very secure with two other centre-backs around him, and he admits that he is feeling much more confident now.
“For me, it’s really important to be playing every week,” he said.
“I didn’t get the chances to play regularly when I first came to England, but now I feel confident with my performances and my fitness.
“I think it’s a mix of being sharper and more confident that he has seen me get back to the form from the end of last season too.
“I feel good in myself and that’s given me the belief to play.
“It also helps that the team is playing well, which is important.”
Coates was signed on a permanent transfer for Sunderland from Liverpool during the summer transfer window, and he initially found things difficult.
The 25-year-old looked shaky over the early part of the campaign, but he has started to prove his worth over recent weeks.
Sunderland will hope that Coates’ improvement continues, as he has an important role to play as they look to climb away from the drop-zone.