Sunderland AFC manager Chris Coleman has blasted his side for letting teams "off the hook" too easily, as The Black Cats' relegation situation was worsened in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Ipswich Town.
Need to stop gifting goals
Fans headed to The Stadium of Light with some added ambition especially with a host of new signings on deadline day, and it looked to be working with the home side starting brightly.
But once again the Wearsiders capitulated with Joe Garner opening the scoring ten minutes before the break, before an own goal from Adam Matthews deep into first-half stoppage-time knocked the stuffing out of the hosts.
The defeat to Mick McCarthy's men was their fourth in five games and left them wallowing in 23rd and two points from safety, and Coleman admitted that his side can't afford to be letting sides "off the hook" if they are to avoid League One football next season.
"First half hour, I didn't have a complaint," Coleman stated in his post-match press conference."There was some good stuff and we should have gone 1-0 up. That all important first goal that we don't recover from."
"The second goal, seconds before half-time, it is incredible to again concede like that. It knocks the life out of you, of course it does," the Welshman admitted to the gathered press. "Second half, we tried, we looked naive in certain situations. If you look at Ipswich they have a lot of boys who know the division, they are streetwise. We are sometimes naive."
"It is about us, somehow finding a way. We get into some lovely situations but let teams off the hook. Lack of confidence or focus, I don't know," the coach stated. "We work so hard to get in a good situation and then let them off the hook, it is aggravating."
"I know exactly where we are, we all do. There is only us who can change our fortunes," he stated. "We have shown some good stuff to build on but we have to stop letting teams off the hook and gifting teams goals."
"We never get easy goals, why are we giving the opposition goals," Coleman added. "We can't do that otherwise we will never get away from where we are."
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Going to have to work with what we've got
Despite the defeat, there were certainly positives to take from the defeat in some of Sunderland's passages of play, especially from some of the new faces in Coleman's squad who looked to slot in with ease.
Middlesbrough loanee Ashley Fletcher looked the brightest spark as he showed good play in nearly setting up Joel Asoro for the opening goal, Kazenga LuaLua also impressed with a chance in the second period but Coleman admitted that there would be no more new faces in the form of free transfers coming into the club.
"As for the new boys," he said. "I think Fletch will get better as he gets more minutes."
“This was the first time he has played with young [Joel] Asoro up there," the coach highlighted. "And I thought he did a lot of good things.”
"There’s only us that can change it," the Welshman admitted. "There’s only us that can change the results."
“There’s no-one else coming in," Coleman concluded. "No new players coming in."