READING FC boss Jaap Stam says Chris Coleman is already having a positive impact on struggling Sunderland ahead of tomorrow’s clash at the Stadium of Light (3pm ko).

The Black Cats have been in woeful form since their relegation from the top flight last season, costing Simon Grayson his job.

They were rock-bottom of the Championship until Coleman picked up his first win in charge with victory over Burton Albion last weekend to move up to 22nd in the table.

And Stam expects Sunderland to rapidly improve under the ex-Wales manager.

“When you are in that position, as we know ourselves, it can be very difficult to pull away from it,” he said.

“Sometimes you are playing well and deserve more, but you aren’t getting results, that’s how football works.

“Sunderland have a very good team with great players and a new, experienced manager who has done very well with Wales as everybody knows.

“He’s probably going to make some changes in how they play. The previous manager played a different style in a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1.

“Now they try and play it out from the back which is totally different to previous months.

“It’s good to see and it brought them a result last weekend.”

Reading picked up four points from their last two games after a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and 3-0 home win over Barnsley on Tuesday night.

Sunderland, however, have had a blank week, so Royals will fly to the north east to cut down on travel time.

“They’ve had the whole week to work on things whereas we had the Barnsley game on Tuesday night, so we need to get the players as fit and sharp again for Saturday which isn’t going to be easy,” added Stam.

“We’ll take the plane up and the coach back, so it’s going to be a long trip.”

Reading Chronicle:

Chris Coleman celebrates his first win as Sunderland boss. Picture: Alan Hayward/MI News & Sport.

Stam also covered a number of other topics ahead of tomorrow’s clash.

Stam on injuries, having selected an unchanged team on Tuesday for the first time this season:

“It’s been frustrating because you do well and a game and you want to start the next game with the same players in the same positions.

“Then after a game someone has a problem with their ankle or hamstring and you need to put someone else in there.

“That’s how it is and we need to handle it. We’re doing the best we can.”

Reading’s recent run:

“I thought we did very well against Sheffield Wednesday without scoring a goal. We wanted to start the same 11 players again against Barnsley to bring the same level of performance and energy.

“I thought we worked very hard to get that result on Tuesday. There are certain games you need to win which is easier said than done because you are always playing against good teams.

“So that’s why I was very happy with the result.”

On having two fit strikers at last in Yann Kermorgant and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson:

“We still need to work on them. Yann had been out for a while. Hopefully hopefully he can start a few games in a week without any problems, but at the moment that’s not the case.

“When Yann comes off the pitch he needs treatment straight away. If he sits on the bench and cools down everything becomes stiff.

“So he comes off, has some manipulation on his groin to get it as good as possible.

“It’s the same with Bodvarsson. He was out for five or six weeks with an injury, didn’t have a lot of training because there was no time as the games were coming so fast.

“You can see that when he came on recently he was eager to do very well, he worked very hard to win those balls played in behind and be a threat.

“This is why you need a big squad of fit players so that if someone isn’t playing up to their standards or feeling unwell that someone else can step in and maybe do even better.”

Stam on Garath McCleary returning to full fitness:

“He’s back in training. This weekend will be difficult for him but he’s been training on the pitch which is a good sign.”

On facing former loan striker Lewis Grabban, who has 10 goals in his last 15 games for Sunderland:

“He also scored great goals for us playing in a certain role.

“At Sunderland he’s playing nearly every game and scoring goals. You can see the quality he has with his pace when he plays on the shoulder of defenders.

“We know what to expect from him and hopefully we can defend well.”