CHRIS COLEMAN has been overwhelmed by the response from Sunderland supporters following his appointment last week, and has described the immediate aim is to provide hope for a brighter future.

More than 1500 fans from Wearside celebrated with Coleman and the players at the final whistle on Saturday at Burton, where the Black Cats finally ended the 17-match wait for their second victory in the Championship this season.

Having sparked a performance capable of finally delivering three points for the first time since mid-August, his challenge is to ensure that lift carries over in to his first game in charge at the Stadium of Light this Saturday.

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Sunderland have gone 20 matches without a win on home turf – an English football record they have set – but the boost Coleman has achieved during the last fortnight has raised hope the wait could end when Reading travel to the North-East.

There will then only be Fulham due to visit on December 16 before Sunderland will have gone an entire year without winning at the Stadium of Light, so he understands why a number of fans have turned their backs on matches since relegation from the Premier League.

With more than 20,000 empty seats in recent games, it is hoped a number of supporters will return to see Coleman’s first game in charge – and he is desperate to deliver the results in the long term to bring the numbers back.

Coleman said: “That’s what we have to try to achieve. That’s what I am looking for, it’s the challenge. I want to get them again. Even being bottom of the league there is still 20-odd thousand showing up, which shows the fan-base here is incredible.

“It is up to us to excite and provide hope. We can only do that with consistent performances and I hope they will be there for us. We have to make sure we are there for them also.”

But Coleman has appreciated the reaction towards his appointment. He said: “There’s been an incredible response towards me from the fans so far. You never know how you will be accepted, if you will or not.

“I have been to some clubs where I have been accepted and others where I haven’t. Here has been amazing. That makes me feel determined to make sure I don’t disappoint them.

“I want stability first and to get a foothold and build off that. It has been overwhelming since I arrived, first class.”

Before spending the last six years as Wales boss, Coleman had spells in club management with Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry and Greek side AEL. Performances were a mixed bag, while his successful playing career took in Swansea, Crystal Palace, Blackburn and Fulham.

Having worked at so many clubs, he has been to Sunderland numerous times before and appeared at Roker Park and the Stadium of Light. The memories of those times helped shape his decision to take over even at a time when they were bottom of the Championship.

Ahead of his first home game in charge, he was keen to pay a visit so he went to the Stadium of Light for a tour on Tuesday and it was everything he remembered and more – now he wants to give the whole place the lift it craves.

Coleman, whose side climbed up two places after defeating Burton, said: “It’s an amazing place. I’ve been before as a visitor. There’s an atmosphere in there even without people being in there, it’s a proper football stadium.

“It’s a place you look forward to plying your trade. You have to look forward to going to a place like that to play football. I had a little half an hour, I’m very excited about it. It was my first time since I came in.

“Because it is such a big stadium and fan-base, you can be put off by that if the results aren’t going for you. You have to look at the positives and think if we do get the results and the performances then they will be on our side.”

He added: “I came to Sunderland, I didn’t look at Sunderland and think they were bottom of the Championship. I looked at it, the facilities, it’s a big, big club. That’s why I am here and it’s part of the draw.

“That’s what I saw when I was offered the opportunity to manage here. You don’t get much bigger than that for someone like myself. I am thrilled. I am excited, I know the size of the task and let’s see where we end up.”

  • Buy your tickets for Sunderland versus Reading from the Stadium of Light ticket office, over the phone on 0371 911 1973 or via www.safc.com/tickets.