WATCH: Sunderland boss on Bryan Oviedo's rocket and how he wants his players to show more initiative

Chris Coleman praised Bryan Oviedo's rocket against Millwall and called on his players to show more initiative and imagination.

Sunday, 4th March 2018, 7:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th March 2018, 7:40 pm
Bryan Oviedo scores against Millwall. Picture by Frank Reid.

The Costa Rican left-back fired Sunderland in front at The Den after playing a one-two with Aiden McGeady from a corner.

Oviedo received the ball back, dropped his shoulder before firing in from 20-yards, his left-footed screamer sailing into the right-hand corner of the net.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunderland failed to clear a goalmouth scramble with 69 minutes on the clock and Shaun Hutchinson poked the ball home, the ball crossing the line before Lee Cattermole cleared.

Reflecting on Oviedo's strike, Coleman said: "I don't know why we didn't do it more often because we had two out there, they had one.

"To me it was obvious – do it. We'd got Aiden McGeady, who can beat anybody on his day.

"As it happens, it was well worked but it was on more to do that.

Coverage in association with Grand Central.

"Again that's confidence, showing a little bit of initiative and a little bit of imagination.

"You do it when you're playing with confidence and sometimes when you're not you tend to take the easy option.

"It's habit, it's all about good habits. You've got to get into good habits and you've got to do it from the get-go of the season. It's no good trying to play catch-up.

"I think you look at some of our good players but once you get into a rut of losing and your performances are up and down – if you get into those bad habits they're really difficult to break.

Coverage in association with Grand Central.

"That's what we're trying to do. It's all about good habits every day and that breeds confidence.

"When you have it, you can nick games that are 50-50 and rather than losing it 1-0 you win it 1-0.

"You play with a bit more freedom, get more points and everything steamrolls in a positive way. When it goes the other way we know what that feels like."

The point saw Sunderland close the gap to safety to four points but with just 11 games left they need to string together a run of wins if they are to avoid back-to-back relegations.

Coleman admits the lack of confidence in the side is hampering efforts to climb away from danger.

Coleman added: "We're lacking a little bit of confidence so rather than doing things one or two touch we're having an extra touch because we don't want to give the ball away and Millwall close the space down.

"We got in some areas, especially the first half, where we should have done better.

"From the free-kick at the end, it's small details. Just put the ball in the right place.

"Having said that, Bryan [Oviedo] who took the free-kick scores the goal and shows a bit of initiative. But that free-kick at the end needed better delivery, that fine detail. When you're bottom of the league, that's what happens, unfortunately.

"If we were further up the league, maybe we get a head on it, but where we've been, trying to scrap away, those fine little details are what we need to concentrate on. But that's just confidence."