Sunderland have a tough run of games coming up and are on a horrible run of form.
Sunderland have slipped to the bottom of the Championship and are four points adrift of safety.
The Black Cats are win-less in six and have won just two of their last 12 league matches. Their most recent disappointment came in a 3-3 draw at home to local rivals Middlesbrough, where they lost a lead and ended up having to come from behind to grab a point.
Sunderland have suffered damaging defeats to relegation rivals Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City in the last month, so it is hard to see where their next victory is going to come from.
3-3 draws against promotion chasing Bristol City and Middlesbrough would normally be good results, but it took going 3-0 down against the former for Coleman’s men to react, and against Middlesbrough they surrendered a lead after going down to 10 men before Boro had Adam Traore sent off.
Had Traore not been dismissed, Sunderland would have probably struggled to get back into that game.
Their next set of matches makes for grim reading for Mackems fans. Sunderland travel to the New Den on Saturday to face an in-form Millwall, who are unbeaten in eight and have lost just three times at home all season.
Three days later, the Black Cats face automatic promotion hopefuls Aston Villa before a crucial trip to Queens Park Rangers, which could be a defining game as they then play Preston North End and Derby County, both of whom are in the promotion shake up.
Sunderland’s away record is slightly better than their home form, which could give them hope against QPR and Millwall. Derby, Preston and Villa will all be difficult games, particularly against the Black Cats’ leaky defence.
On current form, it is hard to see Sunderland beating Millwall, which just leaves the QPR game and, if they do not win that, survival will be practically impossible. It is certainly their most winnable game in the next month so the importance cannot be underestimated.