‘Food for thought’ for Coleman after 4-4-2 switch inspires great fightback

Chris Coleman.
Chris Coleman.

Chris Coleman admits the switch to a flat-back four which helped spark the comeback against Bristol City has given him food for thought.

Sunderland started with a back three, with Billy Jones and Bryan Oviedo in the wing-back roles but the Black Cats found themselves 3-0 down at half-time after a shambolic defensive display.

A switch to a flat back four helped give Sunderland a stronger defensive base from which to build a second-half comeback, which they achieved in stunning fashion.

Coleman admits it has given him food for thought going forward, with Sunderland still deep in relegation trouble.

Coleman said: “We changed to a back four and pushed Bryan [Oviedo] on a little bit. Then we brought Kaz [Kazenga LuaLua] on but kept the same position but then changed Kaz with [Aiden] McGeady.

“We were trying to ask them different questions.

“We certainly looked better in a back four on Saturday, it has worked well for us three at the back getting us five clean sheets when we didn’t have any before.

“We looked better when we changed formation and asked Bristol questions.

“It gives me food for thought, we will have to call upon more than one formation to get us over the line. Same mentality, though, we don’t want to change that.”

Coleman replaced Oviedo with January signing LuaLua on the hour mark and he made a big impression, linking up well with fellow sub McGeady and Middlesbrough loanee Ashley Fletcher.

Coleman added: “He linked up well with [Ashley] Fletch and McGeady, I thought Asoro was excellent on the far right and Joel hasn’t even made double figures. He is only a kid, he is young.

“We have Kaz coming on, he is a new face, Ovie [Ejaria] got tired second half, a problem with a calf.

“It is about getting it all together at once but we haven’t got time.

“Would we come here and take a point before the game? Of course we would.”