As reported by the Sunderland Echo, Sunderland manager Chris Coleman has sent a message to supporters ahead of their visit to Bristol City this weekend, as many fans prepare to take part in protests against the ownership of the club.
Sunderland have been in a state of disarray for a few years now, with the majority of fingers pointing towards the poor ownership of Ellis Short. The 57-year-old billionaire has made it clear that leaving the club is indeed something he is interested in, and the transition cannot come soon enough for the struggling Black Cats.
With that being said, manager Chris Coleman wants to re-direct the focus back onto the pitch where Sunderland are desperately attempting to avoid a second successive relegation which will drop them down into the third tier of English football.
Of course, encouraging the fans to take their minds off of the club’s current situation is easier said than done, but the former Wales boss understands the task at hand.
"I completely understand the frustration of the supporters, who wouldn't," said Coleman.
"All I will say from me to them, if we have ever needed them more than we do know I'd hate to see the situation we were in before.
"We absolutely need them. I know they are angry, they have every right to be. We have never needed them more than we do now. Simple as that.
"We take a big following away from home. At home the stadium may be half empty but there are still 20,000-odd thousand people coming.”
It is not uncommon to see fans protesting against the struggles that their team is going through, but there has never really been such a split in opinion among the fan base. Some believe that it would be a pointless exercise to try to forcefully change the situation, meanwhile, others believe it is the only logical way to go.
It seems as if they should just let things run its course because this kind of added scrutiny is not going to aid the job that Coleman is trying to do. He may not be Sir Alex Ferguson, but he has got the potential to turn things around the Stadium of Light.
Unfortunately for Black Cats supporters who just want to get on with urging their team towards safety, this kind of behaviour looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.