Chris Coleman criticises Grabban ahead of Villa clash

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman has criticised Lewis Grabban as the striker gets set to face his former club.

Grabban has scored twice in two league appearances for Aston Villa, who he joined from Sunderland in January.

The 30-year-old striker had been on loan in the North East from Bournemouth, and scored 12 league goals in 19 games while wearing the red and white stripes.

Grabban’s move to Villa Park clearly angered Coleman, as the Welshman claims he knew nothing about the move until it happened.

Coleman said:

“Lewis didn’t actually come to me. He went to the chief executive.

“I don’t have a problem with that. Lewis Grabban has to look after Lewis Grabban if he has chances to go somewhere where he’s fighting for promotion. But he didn’t once ever come to me about that.”

The Black Cats welcome highflying Villa to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night, and Coleman is hoping they can give Grabban a night to forget.

Sunderland have drawn three and lost three of their last six, and sit rock bottom of the Championship, four points adrift of safety.

Their visitors on Tuesday night have had slightly different fortunes, winning four and losing just one of their last six.

A Villa win could put them within one point of automatic promotion, and Grabban will be looking to show his former boss why he left, but Coleman says he is not worried about the striker.

“I’m not worried about Lewis Grabban. I’m more worried about Sunderland and about us performing.

“Villa have got a host of talent. But I won’t ever worry about one player, I’m concerned with us and making sure we get ourselves right for the game mentally.”

Coleman will be hoping the Sunderland fans give Grabban a feisty reception, and might also be looking to stir up a bit of emotion in the players. One thing is for sure; a win for the Black Cats would be a huge momentum boost going into the closing stages of the season.

Sunderland fans, do you think you can beat Villa? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…