Gary Rowell: This factor will be a major concern for Phil Parkinson despite Sunderland win

After a first half against Ipswich on Saturday were the least said the better, Sunderland got their act together in the second 45 minutes to win the game and claim a huge three points.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 2:25 pm

After that nine-game unbeaten run was abruptly ended at Portsmouth last week, it was so important that Sunderland quickly got back in the winning groove and though it wasn’t plain sailing they got the job done.

So often I have seen those sort of games on Saturday fizzle out into a goalless draw leaving everybody frustrated and angry, just like the last home game against Doncaster but what a massive difference just one late goal makes.

Chris Maguire’s clinical finish was the icing on a much-improved Sunderland performance after the break but the first half belonged to Ipswich and if they could finish, the game might have been wrapped up before the half-time whistle in the Tractor Boys’ favour.

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Luke O'Nien in action for Sunderland in the 1-0 win over Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light.

Phil Parkinson I am sure, like all of us, will be ecstatic with the three points but also concerned why we struggled to put a good 90 minutes together.

Last week at Portsmouth, it was the second half when we didn’t turn up and Sunderland took that into the first half on Saturday against Ipswich and it could have cost us.

However, all’s well that ends well, as they say, and as virtually everybody else at the top end - barring Ipswich - also won, it makes the three points even more vital.

As poor as Sunderland were in the first half, they really were very good in the second, a different team almost, unluckily hitting the woodwork twice before Maguire’s winner.

That’s why I think Sunderland deserved their win but it would have been nice not to wait until the second half for them to play the way I know they can.