Coleman to be set goal of quick promotion, but Jenas claims League One may better suit Sunderland


You may be feeling a little more optimistic about Sunderland's chances of looking upwards following the imminent appointment of Chris Coleman, but BBC pundit Jermain Jenas claims the Black Cats may be better off sinking into League One to properly start again under the Welsh manager. 


Chris Coleman could be officially unveiled as manager of Sunderland this weekend and according to Sky Sports has been given the target of achieving promotion within 18 months despite it being unlikely he will have much to spend. 

Meanwhile, former Newcastle 'favourite' Jermain Jenas has suggested dropping into League One may be the only way in which the former Wales boss can clear out the dross from the Stadium of Light in order to truly start again and rebuild the club. 

24 hours ago, a return to the Premier League any time soon seemed a stupidly fanciful notion, likely only uttered by the most ardently optimistic supporter on Wearside, but the appointment of a decent enough name has already lifted some of the gloom which has enveloped Sunderland since last season's painful relegation gave way to a swift drop to the foot of the Championship. 

But make no mistake, Chris Coleman has a huge task on his hands simply to steady the ship at Sunderland before he can begin to ponder a promotion campaign. Avoiding the drop into English football's third tier is his first most pressing task and the Black Cats still need to pick up something like 40 points from the thirty fixtures remaining to do just that. 

Which probably explains why BBC pundit and the man often crowned Newcastle's 'blandest' ever player has been on Radio Five Live to suggest it may yet be no bad thing if Coleman is unable to save Sunderland from relegation:  

"It looks like they're going to down to League One, I think they're sitting rock bottom at the minute aren't they of the Championship - tough tough league as we all know and weirdly enough, I think it could be the best thing for them [relegation]. Get relegated, get rid of the players that are in there on - probably - 30 - 40 grand a week and aren't performing; hopefully promote some from within, from the academy, get some real home blood in there and also use Chris's contacts that he's developed through his international experience to start building a team, creating Sunderland again and hopefully that's what they've said to him.
"

Aside from the financial armageddon which may await for debt-ridden Sunderland down there, perhaps Jenas has a point and his words are a reminder of the scale of the task which awaits Coleman as his soon-to-be new side take on Millwall this afternoon in the hope of leaping out of the relegation zone if results go our way. 

The appointment of yet another manager - Sunderland's fourth in six years - will not be enough in isolation. The club require a strategy to build upon this appointment and enable fresh faces to accompany Coleman to come in and begin restructuring the failing aspects of the footballing operation. 

There may be high-fives all round within the Sunderland boardroom this weekend as the club rejoice at having lured another high-profile manager to the club, but without a modicum of investment and - dare we say it - the re-engagement of owner Ellis Short into showing interest and plans for his football club, Coleman will face an uphill task to arrest the scale of the decline at the Stadium of Light. 




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