Chris Coleman: Sunderland face 'last chance' to avoid relegation to League One

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman has guided Sunderland on a run of just one defeat in five, but their form may come too late

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman says Saturday's Championship visit of fellow strugglers Burton could be their "last chance" in their bid to avoid the drop.

The Black Cats are bottom of the table, six points from safety, with three games of the season remaining.

Burton are just a point above Sunderland, and defeat for either would be a huge blow to their survival hopes.

"We have to give everything and hope and pray we get a bit of Lady Luck," the Welshman told BBC Newcastle.

"The fact there is still a glimmer of hope, an outside chance, is maybe a miracle in itself."

The 47-year-old added: "Everything is on the game on Saturday.

"We have just got to win. We need to take care of our business, more than any other game this season."

'Nobody' backing Black Cats survival

Sunderland, who have won just one of their past 15 league games, appear to be on the brink of a second successive relegation.

The loser of their game on Saturday will go down if other results go against them - while if Sunderland and Burton draw, they will both be relegated if Bolton and Birmingham both win.

The Wearsiders saw their 10-year stay in the Premier League end last year and could drop into the third tier for just the second time in their history, following their sole campaign at that level in 1987-88.

"If you think about where we are, at the start of the season you never would have thought it," Coleman said.

"Over the 43 games we have not had enough to make sure we are away from where we are.

"With three games to go, nobody is going to back us to get out of it. Until it is mathematically impossible.

"If I am talking to you on Saturday evening with three points in it and two games to play then we are still in the fight.

"There is a possibility of that and we have to hold on to that and hope for that with everything we have got."

Championship table

Coleman has won five of his 26 league games since taking charge in November, but is remaining upbeat ahead of the visit of the Brewers, who are one place and one point above the Black Cats in the table.

"We have got a real good chance of getting three points, which could keep us in there," he added.

"The worst thing will be if teams around us give us a chance and we don't take it. We have got to get the best out of what we have got and be as positive as we can.

"We are not in a position where we can think it doesn't matter. It always matters."