CHRIS COLEMAN was delighted to see his Sunderland players displaying “a bit of personality” in their 1-1 draw with Millwall, but the Black Cats boss admits it is essential they start translating their improved performances into wins.

Sunderland displayed plenty of spirit as they took a point at the Den, but were unable to hold on to the advantage they claimed through Bryan Oviedo’s superb first-half strike.

Shaun Hutchinson’s scrambled second-half effort prevented them from claiming a first win since mid-January, and ensured they remain four points adrift of safety with just 11 games remaining.

Time is running out, so while Coleman was satisfied with his players’ efforts at a traditionally hostile venue, he was nevertheless disappointed at a haul of two points from Sunderland’s last three games.

Coleman said: “I’m pleased with the character, but frustrated by the result. It’s a really difficult place to come, but a great place to play because of the atmosphere. If you don’t come here with your sleeves rolled up, you’re finished before you get off the bus.

“That’s three games now where we’ve had something about us. Four games ago, we’d have lost that game. I think they’re nine games unbeaten, winning three on the bounce before this. But when you’re winning 1-0, the very thing we said not to do was what we did – invited it (pressure).

“It’s a little bit of a disappointment there, but at least we stood up to the test and got a point. I thought we deserved a point, although maybe overall in the second half, not more than that.”

Coleman’s decision to recall Jason Steele in place of Lee Camp was vindicated, with the goalkeeper making a string of impressive catches as he dominated his penalty area despite incessant pressure from Millwall’s physical forward line.

Coleman made six changes in all, and expects to be shuffling his pack on a regular basis in the final two months of the season.

He said: “Probably between now and the end of the season, don't be too surprised if the team changes a lot because we've got to look at the opposition to see where we can hurt them.

“Joel Asoro was injured againast Middlesbrough. He finished the game but he got a whack and he's only trained once (since). And he's only 18, we can't keep relying on him week in, week out.

“He came on as a sub. Maybe if he was fully fit, he might have started but I couldn't risk him because we play Saturday, Tuesday.

“Lee Camp, that change was tactical. I wanted to give Jason Steele a try and he did very, very well. (Aiden) McGeady and (Callum) McManaman have done very well in the last couple of games so we thought they were worth a try and we changed the formation a little bit.

“Whoever we pick, whatever formation, we've just got to be ready, there's no excuses. We've got to try and get the points.”