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.
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
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
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
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.