New Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson reveals what he finds 'concerning' after fourth away defeat
Phil Parkinson admits Sunderland’s away form is ‘concerning’ but insists he’s seen enough from his squad this week to convince him they are capable of going on a long winning streak.
Defeat at Shrewsbury Town was Sunderland’s fourth of the campaign following defeats at Peterborough United, Lincoln City and Wycombe Wanderers.
It leaves the Black Cats eighth in League One, eight points adrift of leaders Ipswich Town after 14 games.
Parkinson’s opening three games in charge has seen the ex-Bolton boss lose two and win one, the thumping 5-0 win over Tranmere Rovers.
And while he is concerned by the form away from the Stadium of Light, Parkinson is confident he has the players available to turn the season around.
Sunderland harbour ambitions of winning promotion back to the Championship but will need to string together a run of wins at some stage if they are to achieve it.
Quizzed on the worrying away form, Parkinson said: “It is concerning but the manner of the way we played on Saturday was good.
“It wasn’t a performance were you say we were second best or we weren’t right up for the game or didn’t implement a plan - we did all of those things but we just couldn’t score.
“Without doubt if we keep playing like that we will win a lot of games at this level.
“The last two games we have created chances we have looked threatening, keep playing like that we will win a lot of games, I’m sure.”
Ex-Sunderland target Jason Cummings scored the only goal of the game with a crisp low finish past Lee Burge, later substituted at half-time with a slight thigh strain.
Parkinson added: “It was a decent finish from him and they carry a threat at the top of the pitch on the break, they have pace.
“We had so many good positions, we had one flash across the six yard box it looks like Griggy was hauled back from where I was.
“We needed one to go in. It is as simple as that.
“When you dominate the ball like we did, we produced end product in terms of crosses and attempts but couldn’t get one between the posts.”
Parkinson denied his players were lacking confidence, pointing to the 5-0 win over Tranmere just days before.
He added: “I don’t think you can say it is down to confidence after we’d just scored five goals on Tuesday.
“Some days it just does not go for you.
“Anybody here at the game would say we looked a good side but in that six-yard box we need someone to stick one in.”