Phil Parkinson admits to 'concern' over key Sunderland defender after knee injury

Phil Parkinson admits Jordan Willis’ ongoing problems with a knee injury are a ‘concern’ after the defender was taken off in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Coventry City.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 2:36 pm
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

Sunderland rescued a late point through Benji Kimpioka’s low finish but it was another poor display by the Black Cats.

As well as the lack of intensity and lack of quality in the final third, another ongoing concern for Parkinson is the fitness of Willis.

The defender, signed from Coventry in the summer, missed the FA Cup defeat to Gillingham following an injection but he was fit enough to start against the Sky Blues.

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Tom Flanagan came on for him with Willis unable to continue in the 68th minute.

Parkinson said: “Jordan has a problem with his knee, he has had that injection in it. When he stretched to clear the ball, he felt it go a bit.

“It is a concern for us but equally Flanno came on and did really well, he was composed and athletic.

“Alim [Ozturk] can count himself unlucky not to get on but I just felt Flanno’s extra mobility was important to our game against their front players.”

In a further blow, George Dobson picked up his fifth yellow of the season and will serve a one-game ban against Burton Albion on Tuesday night at the Stadium of Light.

On that, Parkinson added: “With Dobbo getting that yellow, games come thick and fast, Tuesday, would we freshen it up anyway? There are some players chomping for an opportunity.

“Conor [McLaughlin] comes back in and that releases Luke O’Nien further up the pitch, we have other options.

“George for me is going to be a very good young player, at times, he was a little bit careless in possession but he kept going and typified the team - it didn’t go all our own way but we kept showing and trying to do the right things.”

Sunderland host Burton on Tuesday evening, the Black Cats now 10th in League One, three points adrift of the play-off places with just one game in hand.