Chris Coleman will take charge of his first Sunderland game at Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday night.
Sunderland head into the midweek round of action rooted to the bottom of the table, and Coleman has immediately called on his new players to show some passion ahead of their trip to Villa Park.
"I said yesterday this is not the place to be if you have not got heart," he said. "If you haven't got heart or courage then you cannot be here because you need that to perform at a big stadium, at a big football club, where there has been plenty written and plenty happened that has been deemed as negative. But I have seen a lot of positivity at this football club.
"We know we are being beaten over the head with 'we haven't won in so many games at the Stadium of Light', but I said the same thing with my Welsh team - we have to prepare right. If you do that then sooner or later the results will come your way.
Bolton and Burton are the other clubs in the bottom three heading into Tuesday night's matches, with the Trotters hostingReading and Albion travelling toBrentford. Both troubled clubs could climb above Birmingham with victory, with the Blues in action atMiddlesbrough on Wednesday.
At the top of the table Sheffield United could climb to the summit again if they beatFulham at Bramall Lane, with Wolves not in action until they welcomeLeeds to Molineux 24 hours later.
Cardiff, who sit third in the table, will hope to keep the pressure up on the leaders atBarnsley on Tuesday night, while Bristol City, fourth, host out-of-formPreston.
Elsewhere, Derby welcomeQPR to Pride Park, Hulltravel toMillwalland Nottingham Forest faceNorwich. On Wednesday night, Ipswich meetSheffield Wednesday live on Sky Sports Football at Portman Road.