CHRIS COLEMAN should lead his first training session as Sunderland manager tomorrow morning and it could, and perhaps should, have been on the back of a much-needed victory at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats, watched by incoming manager Coleman’s right-hand man Kit Symons, became the first team in English football to go 20 matches without a win on home soil by failing to defeat Millwall – and they remain rooted to the foot of the Championship.

Symons, sitting alongside chief executive Martin Bain, had to look on from the directors’ box as Sunderland took the lead and then threw it away courtesy of two calamitous goalkeeper errors from Robbin Ruiter.

Sunderland took the lead in the 12th minute when Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer gifted Lewis Grabban his ninth goal of the campaign.

But Millwall, without an away win this season, responded by claiming the lead themselves when two hopeful George Saville free-kicks were helped in to his own net by the confidence-drained Ruiter.

The pleasing thing was that Sunderland rallied after levelling immediately after the restart when Archer dropped another howler of his own when he pushed in Adam Matthews’ cross from the right.

But Sunderland couldn’t find the elusive winner to prevent them from beating the previous unwanted run without a home win previously held by Dagenham, Derby and Nottingham Forest.

There was a more positive vibe around the Stadium of Light following news that Coleman was on the verge of being appointed and it showed when the home side started brightly.

They passed the ball around confidently in the opening exchanges and went close when Aiden McGeady’s effort was turned away by keeper Archer.

But Archer failed to deal with Bryan Oviedo’s corner under his crossbar and Grabban was on the spot to poke a finish over the line from close range.

At the other end Ruiter committed even greater errors and the first was five minutes later.

Saville’s curling 25-yard free-kick had no right to end in the net but Ruiter allowed the ball to squirm between his legs and cross the line.

Less than three minutes later he blundered again. Saville’s free-kick from a more central position found was pushed into the net by the Dutch keeper when it looked easy to hold.

Millwall’s players celebrated in disbelief more than anything else but they were ahead after Sunderland typically showed again why they are at the foot of the Championship. Sunderland also lost Duncan Watmore and Jonny Williams to injury.

But Sunderland, who were poor for the rest of the first half, were thankful for another goalkeeper error after the restart. Archer, the Lions No 1, got himself in a mess on the line again when Matthews darted beyond his man on the right.

The goalkeeper could only help the Welsh full-back’s powerful delivery into his own net when it caught him by surprise and that was Matthews' first for the club.

After that there was a frantic finale, with both sides pushing in searching of a winner. Ruiter redeemed himself slightly with a strong one-handed stop to deny Lee Gregory from beating him.

Then Grabban came within inches of converting a cross for the winner at the other end, while Sunderland’s best efforts to end the home hoodoo was just not enough. It will be hoped Coleman can do better, and he has a four point gap to make up to safety for starters.

SUNDERLAND (4-1-4-1): Ruiter; Matthews, Wilson (Browning 83), O’Shea, Oviedo; Cattermole; Watmore (McManaman 42), Williams (Honeyman 26), McNair, McGeady; Grabban. Subs: Steele (gk), Rodwell, Vaughan, Gibson.

MILLWALL (4-4-2): Archer; McLaughlin (Thompson 90), Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith; O’Brien, Saville, Tunnicliffe, Ferguson; Elliott (Morison 71), Gregory (Onyedinma 73). Subs (not used): King (gk), Craig, Romeo, Twardek.