AFTER spending his first couple of training sessions with Sunderland’s players, new boss Chris Coleman does not expect miracles when he leads the team into back-to-back away dates.

But Coleman, who has hardly had any time to change anything in terms of shape ahead of tonight’s trip to promotion contenders Aston Villa, is determined to give the squad a lift in his bid to get off to a positive start.

Sunderland follow up tonight's visit to Villa Park by heading to Burton Albion on Saturday and the 47-year-old can focus on gearing the squad up for a first home game under his watch against Reading on December 2.

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And, despite sensing a lack of confidence from the struggling squad, he does believe there is still enough in the ranks to spark a revival following a change at the top.

Coleman, the ninth Sunderland manager of the last six years, said: “Of course they (the players) were flat, it’s another new face, another new manager. It’s hard for them.

“But they’re involved as well, they’ve got a responsibility, they have to take responsibility. I’ll take all the responsibility, I have no problem with that. People can point fingers, but I’ll point them back. There will be complete transparency. There will be no excuses. Let’s start inching our way forward.

“Certain things can improve. I’m going to try to create a different culture to the one that is here. It doesn’t mean it’s better, that’s just the way I work. I look at the players and there is talent there, but they have to understand my gameplan and what I want.

“I want accountability, and the players have to be accountable. I want to remove all the excuses. Once you do that it’s a much better environment to work in.

“To do that, they have to know what is expected Monday to Friday then put that into practise on a Saturday. If you haven’t got perseverance and resilience, forget your talent, talent won’t matter. You need more than that. There are some good players here? Yes. Do they have the perseverance and resilience? I hope so.”

Coleman has immediately encountered problems since taking over. Duncan Watmore, who has only recently returned from almost a year on the sidelines, has suffered a fresh knee injury, while Jonny Williams could be out for a while with a shoulder problem. Midfielder Lee Cattermole is also suspended tonight.

The manager said: “Still waiting for news on Duncan and Jonny. Everyone was on a downer yesterday, especially because Duncan worked so hard to get back. He’s a real good player and an even better guy.

“Waiting for positive news. Jonny’s a talented player and a top kid, but he’s had injury after injury it’s tough to get out of that. It’s a question of does he have surgery?”