The January transfer window was always going to be difficult for Chris Coleman.
Previous failed regimes meant that the former Wales boss was not granted any money to spend on transfer fees as he looked to transform a Sunderland team staring down the barrel of two consecutive relegations.
That meant he was shopping in the loan market and Sunderland was not a particularly attractive proposition to try and sell to potential new recruits.
On top of that, Coleman lost senior strikers Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan and FLW asked Sam Saunders, a pundit who often appears on Sky Sports show EFL Matters for his thoughts on Sunderland’s survival chances and whether they did enough in the transfer window.
He told us: “At the moment, it looks like it’s between Hull, Sunderland and Barnsley. Unfortunately, you’d think Burton are gone so it’s out of them three.
“Coleman’s been playing a few younger lads recently, and he probably didn’t have the January transfer window that the Sunderland fans were hoping for.
“Losing Lewis Grabban as well was a massive miss. It’s going to be tough but Sunderland fans will just have to hope that the fact that Barnsley have lost Heckingbottom means they will struggle.
“It’s basically trying to catch either them or Hull. It’s two out of those three. I think Birmingham have got out of it now. They look more organised now, more consistent, they’ve settled on Cotterill’s best eleven so I can’t see them getting sucked back into it now.”
Sunderland fans – what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below…