ROBBIN RUITER has described how Chris Coleman’s presence has given everyone a lift on the training ground, and the Sunderland goalkeeper is determined to repay his new boss for showing faith in him.

Coleman had not been officially appointed when he sent his assistant Kit Symons along to watch the Black Cats against Millwall on November 18 – and what happened during that could have given Ruiter nightmares for the rest of the season.

His two calamitous mistakes inside three minutes gifted Millwall the lead and could easily have lost his place when Coleman took over.

Instead Ruiter retained his spot at Aston Villa, where he didn’t do much wrong, and then he was still between the posts at Burton on Saturday when he kept his first clean sheet since his summer arrival to help Sunderland win 2-0.

Ruiter said: “I’ve never made a mistake like that, to be honest. I don’t really know what happened, I was surprised myself. If you make a mistake as a goalkeeper it is a goal.

“Sometimes people from the outside speak about goalkeepers really easily, ‘oh that’s a mistake’, but players in the outfield make mistakes all the time. But if the midfield makes a mistake the defence and the goalkeeper covers them.

“If a striker makes a mistake he will get two, three chances to make it right. For the goalkeeper you are the loser if you make a mistake but I suppose on the other side, if you save the penalty you are the hero. That’s the thing I really love about being a goalkeeper. OK, after the Millwall game I didn’t love being a goalkeeper that much!”

Ruiter appreciates the fact Coleman didn’t immediately hang him out to dry before working with him.

The 30-year-old said: “I didn’t know Kit was in the stand that day, I was just concentrating on the game. I try to give my best shot, we all want to win.

“Sometimes you make mistakes, get over it as soon as possible, because especially in this league a lot of games are coming. We’ve a lot left and hopefully we can make it a much better season.”

Simon Grayson, who the players enjoyed working with, was quick to chop and change who was in goal because neither Ruiter nor Jason Steele turned in the sort of performance that would demand their inclusion.

“It has been a really difficult situation. The changes between Jason and me were not good for either of us,” said Ruiter. “As a goalkeeper you want the confidence of the manager and we didn't really know what we were up to.

“One week I played really well, and then the next game I was on the bench, and the same thing happened to Jason.

“My mistake against Millwall … everybody has written and spoken about it, but I think I stood up well in the second half and made a good save at a crucial moment in the game at 2-2, and that is the important thing for a goalkeeper. I'm experienced enough to deal with that.

"I know what I am capable of and I know that you guys haven't seen the best of me yet. It's a different country for me, a different style of football, and I am really happy that we are starting to play football from the back now because that is more what I am used to in Holland.”

Sunderland had to wait 17 matches before they could enjoy a second win of the season, and it was a relief to the players and the 1500 fans at the Pirelli Stadium when it finally arrived.

The victory lifted Sunderland off the foot of the Championship, two points adrift of safety ahead of a meeting which could drag Reading right into trouble at the Stadium of Light – when they look to end the record-busting 20-match wait without a win on home turf.

Ruiter said: “Every week has been the time! When you see the stadium, the fans, we should win most of our home games but that hasn't happened.

“You felt the relief at Burton. When you look at the position where we are, and there are still thousands of people going to the away games, they support us really well.

“It has been hard times for them, because this is their life. I think sometimes they look at the players and think that they don't care about the club, but I can assure them that I really care about the club, even though I have only been here for a couple of months.

“I think the club is amazing and the fans are amazing. I can understand why they have been critical, but we have to try and do our best to get that win at home, it will be a major relief.”