Phil Parkinson explains exactly what striker search means for Will Grigg and Marc McNulty's Sunderland future

Phil Parkinson believes Marc McNulty and Will Grigg both still have a Sunderland future despite his search for new firepower up front.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:30 pm

Parkinson is actively seeking to bolster his forward line this month, holding talks earlier this week with Kyle Lafferty.

He also has a strong interest in Burton Albion’s Liam Boyce, who could be available as his contract at the Pirelli Stadium winds down.

With Charlie Wyke Parkinson’s current first choice, those pursuits have raised questions over the future of Grigg and McNulty.

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Phil Parkinson says Will Grigg must be 'patient'

“At the moment, we’re not focusing on outs," Parkinson said.

“We’re focusing on getting players in. The chairman is very much, ‘let’s not anyone go as the squad isn’t that deep as it stands’.

“Ins are our priority.”

Parkinson confirmed that Reading cannot recall McNulty without Sunderland’s agreement, after the 27-year-old was this week linked with Swindon Town and Hibernian.

The Black Cats boss says the situation could be revisited later in the window, but still believes he has a part to play.

“Both parties have to agree to a recall,” Parkinson said.

“Marc has looked sharp, he was unlucky not to feature more over Christmas. My thought was to change that front three around over that period but they were playing so well and getting goals, that I stuck with them.

“But everytime Marc gets on the pitch he looks like getting a goal, he was very unlucky at Fleetwood not to score a winner.

“If he went further down the pecking order then obviously we’ll have another conversation but he’s working hard.

“At the moment, I feel he’s someone who can win us games of football.”

Parkinson urged Grigg to be patient with his future also the subject of speculation.

Sunderland are not thought to have received a formal approach from Blackpool at this stage, who have been credited with an interest.

“Griggy has got to keep going, fighting for his place,” Parkinson said.

“Opportunities can come when you least expect them and when it does, he’s got to be ready to take it.

“He has got a good record after Christmas of getting goals, so he has to keep training well as he has been doing, and wait for his chance.”