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Coleman’s Thoughts: With the transfer deadline looming, will Sunderland add to their squad?

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Chris Coleman met the press ahead of tomorrow’s pivotal clash against Birmingham and shared his thoughts on the remainder of the transfer window.

Sunderland Training Session Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Latest on transfers:

I think we’re 99% certain that there will be one, between now and Wednesday. Obviously the game is tomorrow, so we’ll respect the player and the club that he’s at. There is nothing we can say really to say that he’s coming. That won’t happen until Wednesday morning subject to a medical. I’m still hoping and praying that there will be one more. We’ve got to concentrate on Birmingham tomorrow night, that’s the priority of course. But, then we’ll try and add to what we’ve got in the last two or three days. I would imagine definitely one and hopefully two.

The difficulty of making signings:

Everything’s agreed, I’d say 99% certain. But, there is football to be played between now and then. Everything is subject to medicals etc. But the window, yes, it’s really frustrating. We’ve been looking at it for weeks, before the transfer window started you’re doing your homework and trying to do preparation for what positions and personal you’ll go for. You speak to people to say “Is he going to be available?”.

Unfortunately things change and we’ve been right there with more than two players, where we think everything is done. But, then things have changed for the club we’re dealing with and the player can’t come. So, we’ve had to start all over again and that’s happened more than a few times, which is brutal to be honest with you. But, it is what it is, we’re still fighting and we’ve got two or three days to add some strength in depth.

A clue on the potential signing?

I can’t, to be honest with you, sorry. I think it will be too obvious for you.

On players leaving:

At the minute, no. We’ve had some phone calls for one or two of our players. But, like I've said before, we’re the same as every other club, if the deal suits us as well, it has to suit everybody. I think there are conversations today about one or two, so we’ll see where that takes us.

On the squad for the remainder of the season:

I don’t know between now and Wednesday, but even if we don’t do any business, I’m still confident that we can get over the line. I’ve said all the way along, whatever we’ve got, we’ve got. We make our own destiny. We find solutions. We make a way, we find a way, we steal it, no matter how we do it, we do it, simple as that. It would be crazy not to try and add to what we’ve got in this window, while we can. If we can’t, we can’t. We get on with it and we make it work, whatever we’ve got we make it work.

On players returning from injury:

Jonny had 60 minutes yesterday in the Under 23’s and came through it OK. Lamine had 60 minutes during the week for the Under 23’s and both players came through fine. A bit rusty, but you expect that when they’ve been out for two or three months. But, both players are fine. I think tomorrow is a little bit early for both, I think Lamine will be in and around the squad. Obviously Jonny probably needs another 60 or 90 minutes before we can consider him to be on the bench for us.

On the Birmingham game:

Absolutely, you’re right that they’re all big games, everyone one of them are must wins. Even more so tomorrow because they’re in and around us. Big, big game. We had a look at them on Saturday against Huddersfield, obviously Steve rested a lot of players and they’ll be saving it for tomorrow night. But, its exciting as well, I know it’s stressful because we’re at the wrong end of the league.

Nevertheless, it’s a big game and we want to be involved in big games. We want to be involved in games like this at the other end of the league, of course. It is what it is and we are where we are. But, it’s a chance for us also, to go there and push us one step closer to where we need to be. It’s a big game tomorrow night.

Is the job still fun for Coleman?

Fun. It’s a bit of everything. You wake up every morning in this transfer window and you say “Today is the day, we’ll get this player today, I can feel it”. Sadly, that hasn’t happened and it’s been a long month. Especially when, if you’re not getting results, where we are, the transfer window, not getting results on the pitch, we’re not getting players, it can be brutal. So, the win last week and the nature of the performance was lifting. I’ll be glad to see the end of this month if i’m honest with you. I’ll know what we’ve got and what everyone else has got, so we know what we’re going with and we can get on with it.

I suppose it’s the same for you guys, trying to second guess, you’ve heard this and heard that. It’s not so different for us, we’ve heard this player going to that club and that doesn’t happen, there are knock on effects. It’s a brutal month and it’s not something I enjoy. But, then you have to use it because it can work in your benefit if you’re cute. There is that four week window where if you get a bit of luck in the transfer window, you can change things dramatically. But no, for me i’ll be glad to see the back of this month, that’s for sure.

On LuaLua’s Involvement:

No, he’s not ready to start. Kaz ticks the boxes for me, in how I see what I want from players coming here. Hungry, need to prove themselves, want to be here. He’s an explosive player. People will look at it and go “we’ve got Callum, we’ve got McGeady, we’ve got wingers”. But, really, I want Kaz to play down the middle for us, in a two. That’s how I see him. He may have to do a job down wide if we don’t go with wing backs. It’s needs must. But, I've really brought him here to play as a two down the middle, as a 9 or a 10, because of his pace. We need that threat in behind.

Josh Maja and Joel Asoro need some support, they’re good but they’re young. Along with Kaz, we really need one more up the middle. To answer your question earlier, that’s what we need. I see Kaz, when he’s 100% fit, playing down the middle for us.