CHRIS COLEMAN has paid tribute to Sunderland’s “magnificent supporters” and wants his team to turn in the sort of performance worthy of their backing more regularly.

The Black Cats head into this Saturday’s visit of Brentford. Home fans on Wearside have only seen two victories at the Stadium of Light in more than a year in the league.

It is a woeful statistic and, courtesy of the precarious position they find themselves in on the back last May’s relegation from the Premier League, has led to thousands of followers turning their backs on the Stadium of Light.

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Coleman chooses to look on a half-empty stadium as a positive that a club the size of Sunderland can still pull in more than 20,000 supporters when it is struggling so badly.

But he is determined to give the faithful something to be proud of after watching Sunderland come from three goals down at Bristol City on Saturday to claim a point.

The players were rightly booed off at half-time and hit with ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ chants from the 1,600 travelling contingent at Ashton Gate.

After the restart, though, the same crowd got behind the players after seeing signs of a fightback and ended up celebrating a point with the players and Coleman at the end.

Coleman said: “What complaints can we have about the treatment we got from our supporters who probably travelled from three o’clock on Saturday morning? There were 1,600 of them and we’re in the bottom three. It’s incredible, really, so we’ve got no complaints about getting booed off.

“But it’s a double-edged sword with our fans. There is a lot of them and they are very passionate and if you disappoint them – and we have disappointed them of late - you’re going to know about it.

“If you please them and give them what they deserve, which is everything we’ve got, as we saw in the second 45 minutes, they show that they are absolutely magnificent.

“Bearing in mind, on the back of talking about demonstration, possibly, because of the situation the club is in and I asked them to stay with us and after 45 minutes I felt a bit cheeky asking that after that performance.

“But after seeing what it like after the 90 minutes at Bristol that little bit of harmony and unity between us and them could be what is going to give us a good chance of getting out of trouble.”

The point ensured Sunderland are three points shy of safety going into this weekend’s round of fixtures and they are in desperate need of a winning run to climb out of trouble.

For that to happen, though, Sunderland will have to win back-to-back league games for the first time this season – and that will only happen if Coleman can get them to turn in better performances for full matches rather than parts of.

He said: “If it the first 45 minutes at Bristol had been out of the blue, where we hadn’t been doing that, I would probably analyse it more but we’ve done that before. It’s happened two games running.

“We played well against Ipswich for half an hour, bossing the game but we conceded the first goal and then a minute before half-time we conceded again.

“When we played Birmingham a week before we were 1-0 down and then a minute before half-time we conceded again. So you’re looking at a trend there so I was thinking here we go again. If it was something out of the blue I’d analyse it more. But I know why it has happened.”