Phil Parkinson discusses Sunderland formation change and Will Grigg after cup defeat

Phil Parkinson sympathised with Will Grigg after his penalty shootout miss, but said the striker must play with more conviction.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 7:22 am
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson.

Grigg was a second-half substitute as Sunderland exited the Carabao Cup at Oxford United, and passed up a good opportunity to scoring the inning goal when he couldn’t control a cross from Conor McLaughlin.

The striker has impressed in patches since Parkinson arrived and while the Black Cats boss is working hard to get the best from him, he urged Grigg to have more belief.

“It's got to come from within as well,” Parkinson said.

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“The supporters are right behind him as well, have given him terrific support and he's got to believe and play with a bit more conviction.

“We know he's a terrific player, he's got all the attributes we need and he will start showing it.”

On his penalty miss, Parkinson added: “Yeah [brave to step up], but the worst scenario is that you make the keeper work.

“He's not the first one to miss a penalty but we are frustrated that he didn't make the keeper work at the very least.”

Parkinson has now one just one of his four matches in charge of the Black Cats, but takes heart from the chances they continue to create.

“The way we played tonight I can't really fault in terms of the attitude and desire to get back into it,” he said.

“ We need to make the most of the situations we get ourselves into.

“Shrewsbury on Saturday, we've completed dominated and tonight against the in-form team in the league, we've played some great football and created some terrific chances.

“But we've got to have that belief and conviction in our finishing.”

Parkinson changed formation for the cup clash, and despite abandoning the 3-5-2 in search of an equaliser in the second half, he felt there were positives to take.

“We were short of wide players going into the game and I thought that in patches we acquitted ourselves well, we passed the ball, got our wing-backs in great positions, and probably just didn't have enough belief in our crossing.

“I think it was the right call in terms of the players we had available.”