CHRIS COLEMAN has had to learn quickly about the sort of problems he will encounter at Sunderland, but he has told every member of the squad he has inherited that ‘only us can lift the doom and gloom’ on Wearside.

The new Black Cats boss had to start his reign with a 2-1 defeat at promotion chasing Aston Villa last night, when a 73rd minute Lewis Grabban goal raised hope of a point in the closing stages.

Now Sunderland head into Saturday’s trip to fellow relegation contenders Burton on Saturday even more desperate for an early lift under Simon Grayson’s successor.

Coleman has soon realised it will not be easy to turn things around at the Stadium of Light, having had to suffer two early injury blows even though he only took over officially on Sunday.

Young forward Duncan Watmore looks set to miss the rest of the season with his second cruciate knee ligament injury, on the same knee, inside a year, while Jonny Williams will be out for up to three months after requiring shoulder surgery.

Speaking after the defeat at Villa, Coleman said: “I think the doom and gloom at our place at the minute, bottom of the league, ten first team players unavailable, I think coming to Villa, one of the toughest games we will get, we did OK considering.

“We worked with the players for just 20 or 30 minutes. They played Saturday, had a session on Monday, so it’s very tough for them. We are out of options if we lose one or two more players. Hopefully we will have one or two back for the weekend.

“They can’t feel sorry for themselves, never do that. In these moments this is where team spirit comes from, it’s where you start to build it. That is what we have to do. We are definitely in a fight, there is only us who can fight it.”

Sunderland fell behind to Albert Adomah’s tenth minute opener when Aston Villa counter-attacked when Adam Matthews lost possession in the home side’s half, with Coleman claiming a foul.

The Villans added a second shortly after half-time when Joshua Onomah’s effort deflected off Tyias Browning and found a way in, meaning Sunderland were on course for a defeat which leaves them four points shy of safety at the foot of the table.

Coleman said: “The second goal was a deflection. The first I thought was a foul, if he doesn’t get out the way he gets nailed. That’s what happens when you are bottom of the league, you get bad new after bad news.

“There is only us who will get out of it, hook or by crook, we have to start marching forward. They could easily have melted and they never did that. I am not too despondent with them.

“I knew what was coming when I took over. What I didn’t want to do was come here and try to be defensive for 90 minutes. In the past I have learned from that.

“I think we tried to play football, we just had to be cuter in certain areas of the pitch. In terms of trying their pitch they gave their best.”

Watmore, 23, is to undergo surgery later this week and it comes just six matches after he made his comeback from the initial problem.

He had been out for ten months with that and he is braced for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after limping out of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Millwall.

Coleman said: “We will know more after Thursday’s surgery, in terms of a timeline that is when we will have the news. It is such a shame for Duncan. It is a shame for us but an even bigger shame for Duncan.

“If it is definitely that he will be out a long time. He is a huge loss for us because he has huge potential and he is going to miss football. We anticipate that it is not the news we would hope for.”

Former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce knows how hard it can be to get things right on Wearside, but he is getting Aston Villa heading in the right direction.

This victory was the fourth victory from last six matches and they have moved up to fourth in the table, even though he found Sunderland in a decent frame of mind for Coleman’s first match in charge.

Bruce said: “Sunderland have rolled their sleeves up and had a go for the new manager. I always felt we were a threat going forward and the important thing is to find a win and we found that.

“It’s very difficult for Chris. He has got himself in a difficult situation. When I walked in here, my fear is that you are not too good to go down.

“He is the right man for it, he is ready for the challenge and to get back into management and I sincerely wish him the best of luck too to pull them through.

“Maybe he has thought I have done six years (with Wales) and it is time to get back into management. I am not surprised he has got back into club management because people miss the everyday thing when you are young, unlike when you are an old bloke like me!”