CHRIS COLEMAN does not want to dwell too much on the past in his bid to transform Sunderland’s fortunes, and he is looking to the club’s future talents in the hope of sparking a revival.

Coleman has not made his mind up whether to introduce more of the Black Cats’ younger generation to the first team picture, but he is assessing the merits of those he feels might be worthy of being involved.

Sunderland’s Under-23s have not set the world alight this season and sit second from bottom in the Premier League 2 Division One. The Under-18s are sitting in mid-table in their respective division.

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The Academy of Light has produced its fair share of top two tier footballers over the years, most recently Jordan Pickford who moved to Everton for £30m, but there has been a reluctance to throw too many in during the recent past because of the struggles in the Premier League.

With Sunderland now struggling to climb out of the Championship’s relegation zone, Coleman has been receiving feedback on the young men who might be capable of stepping onto the first team stage.

The former Wales manager knows he needs to find a spark from somewhere, particularly at the Stadium of Light where they have not won for almost a year.

Swedish striker Joel Asoro gave Sunderland fresh impetus after his introduction against Reading on Saturday, and he won the penalty for Lewis Grabban to convert when the scoreline was 3-0.

Asoro, rated highly by his country for his pace and quick feet, is only 18 and his strength is a worry, while Coleman has also had another 18-year-old striker, Josh Maja, on the bench since taking over. They both will be pressing to play a part at Wolves this weekend.

The likes of George Honeyman, 23, and Lynden Gooch, 22 on Christmas Eve, are likely to be given more time to impress, but the rest of the players he could turn to from the Under-23s and below would be a bigger gamble.

The big clamour from supporters is for Coleman to make changes to the heart of the defence and to the middle of midfield, where Lee Cattermole and Darron Gibson have struggled to combine and there is having to be an over-reliance on 36-year-old John O’Shea.

Defender Tom Beadling, 21, was also an unused substitute at Aston Villa in Coleman’s first game. He would be the nearest to forcing his way into the back four. Like so many academy graduates these days, though, he lacks first team experience at any level and only appeared twice for Bury during a half season loan last season.

Sunderland rate 18-year-old attacking midfielder Elliot Embleton, who is capable of scoring goals, highly but he would not be ideal for the defensive duties performed by Cattermole or Gibson. Didier Ndong, due back before Christmas, and Paddy McNair, who only has a groin niggle, would still be the likeliest to play and both are still young themselves.

There is also Ethan Robson, 21, who is pressing for an inclusion but niggly injuries have stopped him from making his mark in a similar way to Gooch and Honeyman.

And if Coleman wants different options on the flanks then the speedy Bishop Auckland-born Luke Molyneux, 19, and skilful Rees Greenwood, 21 next week, are alternatives to Aiden McGeady and Callum McManaman while Duncan Watmore is ruled out.

Greenwood has never returned to the first team stage since Sam Allardyce handed him an appearance at Watford in the Premier League in May 2016. He has been called up for the England Under-20s but has only recently started to find his feet again for the Under-23s after injury.

There have been question marks placed on goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter and Jason Steele, both signed in the summer but yet to hold down the shirt, but there is little alternative. Max Stryjek is the nearest to the side, but the Polish 21-year-old hasn’t even appeared during his loan at Accrington this season.

Coleman is determined to deliver better results that will see Sunderland climb away from the bottom three, after a thoroughly frustrating opening home match in charge against Reading.

And the former Wales boss knows he needs to see greater strength of character from the players he fields, having outlined after the defeat to Reading that he may have to be brave and change things on and off the pitch.

Coleman said: “They must have had a 1000 inquests here, I’m quite sure. I’m not a big one for that. I’ve said to the players, I know they’ve been here more than once. We had a chat about what happened, yeah.

"Something has got to break and quickly, then we’ll see a bit more confidence in possession, we’ll be less nervous because we’re thinking one missed pass is the end of the world.

"It’s not, we’re going to misplace passes, we’re going to miss a tackle, we’ve got to stay calm. It’s alright running around and looking like you’re full of passion, that should be a given, you’ve got to know when to do it. That’s what we’ve got to work on, when we play here we’ve got to have a game-plan and stick to it.”

And having experienced what the Stadium of Light has been like for the players and fans for the first time, he said: “That pitch looks double the size when you’re in our position.

“When the opposition have got the ball our goal looks about three times bigger, our goalkeeper looks smaller and he’s 6ft 4in. That’s what happens when you’ve gone so long without winning in your back garden, you can feel it.

"I’m not even going to say, ‘before I was here’ or anything like that. I’ve been here, I’ve had one game and I’ve fallen flat on my face. I can’t talk about what’s happened before me. This is me today, no points, that’s my responsibility. I can’t change the past, I can only change the future. It is a big blow for us today after last week’s performance.”