Declan John's Sunderland absence explained and why Phil Parkinson opted against making changes to his XI

Steve Parkin says Declan John will have to be patient after the Swansea City loanee again missed out on selection for the matchday squad.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:00 am

John has not made the bench for either of Sunderland’s home wins, and is still waiting for his Sunderland debut after joining on deadline day.

Phil Parkinson has opted to go with Conor McLaughlin on his bench, with the Northern Ireland international bringing added versatility in being able to play both right wing-back and on the right side of the back three.

Parkin insists that John is doing well behind the scenes and expects to see him get his chance in the coming weeks.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Declan John is still waiting for his Sunderland debut

“He's been great, he's trained fine,” Parkin said.

“It's just the way it is at the moment, he's got to be patient.

“He's a good player and he's already shown us that in training.

“It's just about the balance of the substitutes really and it's been difficult for us to get him on there, but I'm sure that will change over the next few weeks.”

Parkin admitted that Phil Parkinson had strongly considered making changes to his starting XI, before naming an unchanged side for the 3-0 win over Rochdale.

Parkinson has used a very small number of players in his starting XI during the upturn in form since Boxing Day, and his five January signings are by and large struggling to force their way in.

Bailey Wright has managed to do so and impressed again on Tuesday night, but otherwise the Black Cats boss has shown a huge amount of faith in his established partnerships all over the pitch.

Parkinson had come close to freshening things up but had been so pleased with his side’s second half showing against Ipswich that he opted against it.

“We had long discussions on Monday about it,” Parkin said.

“We decided we would sleep on it and we had a couple of chats about it when we came in.

“We were in early and just decided that we were in such a good place and had such good energy around the place on Monday that we'd stick with the same group.”