CHRIS COLEMAN hopes there will be no set-back for Joel Asoro as the Sunderland manager looks for the right answers in his bid to keep League One football away from the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats are looking to build on last weekend’s draw with Middlesbrough by going one better at Millwall this Saturday, provided the fixture beats the big freeze.

There has been some snow in London but if the icy blast continues the big problem could be how Sunderland travel south in time for the fixture.

Sunderland’s players couldn’t train yesterday at the Academy of Light because of the snow but Coleman hopes that situation will improve over the next 48 hours.

Sunderland have slipped further behind in the battle for survival this week, with Barnsley sitting five points clear of the basement boys in fourth from bottom. Clearly another defeat to Millwall would not be satisfactory with 12 matches remaining.

Coleman said: “It’s amazing what you can do just by being positive and having a real determination. You need a bit of talent, but you can go a lot further with the right mentality and that comes from self-motivation.

“Press conferences are tough when you are in the bottom three, addressing the players is also tough when there’s been another defeat.

“I have to try to up my game and that will improve me because I am looking for solutions. I don’t know what to expect. I need to do that and lead. That’s my job.

“Where we are, if anybody thinks that between now and end of the season it will be an easy ride they will be mistaken. If they are prepared for a bumpy ride and scrap then great.”

Sunderland are hardly blessed with options because players are not full of confidence and in full flow. There are hopes that Kazenga LuaLua and Ovie Ejaria will be available, while Coleman is desperate to see Asoro fit to face the Lions.

The young Swedish forward has been one of Sunderland’s best players – and most consistent - in the recent matches and he will be straight on the teamsheet at The Den if he is fit.

Coleman said: “Joel got a whack against Middlesbrough, somebody went through him right at the end. He needed to come off, he had a right whack on his knee.

“He got through it but he was in pieces after the game. It was right after I made that substitution. Touch wood he is OK. He is on the treatment table now.

“He is only 19 so for me to say we can’t afford to lose him is pretty brutal but that’s where we are.”

Asoro was asked to play as part of a front two last week against Middlesbrough and he scored the opening goal; he was used out wide at Bolton in the previous game and was the key man.

Striker Ashley Fletcher is available again this week and would be expected to slot straight back in and lead the line at the expense of Josh Maja. Fletcher was ineligible against Middlesbrough under the terms of his loan.