Quick links

Sunderland

Three players key to helping Chris Coleman keep Sunderland up this season

A,Sunderland fan looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Sunderland at St Andrews on January 30, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Manager Chris Coleman will be sick of people laughing at Sunderland's expense, but who can help him prove the doubters wrong?

It hasn't exactly been plain sailing for Chris Coleman since he took the Sunderland Job. His side is still struggling near the foot of the Championship, and many people are now comparing them with the likes of Leeds United, Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday - high profile teams who ended up in League One.

Chris Coleman manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Sunderland at St Andrews on January 30, 2018 in Birmingham, England.


While some (including some fans) will think that Sunderland are a lost cause, but Coleman 

“People outside of Sunderland look at you with a smirk on their face because we are such a big club, we were in the Premier League last year and now we are fighting against back-to-back relegation," Coleman told the Evening Chronicle.

Survival - until last season - was something the Wearsiders were masters at. 

Coleman, however, will need these three players to perform if Sunderland are to turnaround their season:

1. Aiden McGeady

Aiden McGeady of Sunderland in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Sunderland at St Andrews on January 30, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

The creative driving force in the Black Cats' side, McGeady has been excellent for them so far this season. In fact, he has created the most chances in the squad - with 30 - one ahead of former Everton team-mate Bryan Oviedo.

The problem is, however, that only a tenth of McGready's chances has been converted, which is absolutely what Sunderland need to improve on. Coleman will be still looking to McGeady as not only a creative outlet but rather for him to continue scoring goals. Since the departure of Lewis Grabban, McGeady is now the Sunderland's top scorer - albeit with just six league goals to his name.

2. Lee Cattermole

Andreas Weimann of Derby County challenges Lee Cattermole of Sunderland during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in...

This season Sunderland's captain can't quite get things going - only playing 16 full games in the Championship so far. Cattermole, however, is a natural leader, and absolutely the person to motivate the team both on and off the pitch. With 15 games left this season, Cattermole must motivate the team and get the fans behind the club.

3. Joel Asoro

Joel Asoro of Sunderland controlls the ball under pressure from Osman Kakay of QPR during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland at Loftus Road on...

Sunderland needs goals, but Coleman has only three viable striker options: Ashley Fletcher, Josh Maja and Joel Asoro. And it's the latter who could hold the key to helping Sunderland win the battle to stay in the Championship.

Coleman clearly trusts the young Swedish forward to lead the line - even though he won't even turn 19 until April - he is quick, great at dribbling and is incredibly direct. His pace alone should help Sunderland, especially with the likes of McMananaman and Lua-Lua also bombing forward. Asoro, however, could do with improving his conversion, after netting just 12.5% of his chances, but he is still a work-in-progress and he will work on this.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch