Phil Parkinson is giving Sunderland fans exactly what they want - and long may it continue
Sunderland extended their unbeaten run to five games with victory over Lincoln City – but what did we learn from the clash?
Here’s three key conclusions from the triumph at the Stadium of Light:
Phil Parkinson is giving Sunderland fans exactly what they want
One of the big qualms among the fanbase with the previous managerial regime was the perceived reserved style of football.
There can be no such complaints with the Black Cats under Parkinson.
While things have been far from perfect, recent weeks – and in particular, Sunderland’s last three games – having shown the attacking outlook Parkinson is keen to instil.
Chris Maguire, Lynden Gooch and Charlie Wyke pressed relentlessly against the Imps and, even when 2-0 up, Sunderland showed no signs of a let-up.
A photo of the home dressing room did the rounds on social media shortly after Parkinson’s appointment, with a clear message pinned to the wall.
‘Forward Runs. Forward Passes.’
Sunderland’s players are finally adhering to that.
Chris Magurie is reaping the rewards of Sunderland’s new staff
Nick Allamby was a key appointment by Parkinson, his fitness expertise highly-regarded by the Sunderland boss and former players.
And Chris Maguire seems to be reaping the benefits of his methods.
It was a long-standing joke among the club’s support that Maguire would have one good game, then go missing for several – but he now seems to be stringing together a solid run of individual performances.
His assists for the first two goals showed his quality on the ball and desire off it, and he now looks to have established himself as a key player under Parkinson.
A word too for Lynden Gooch, who continues to excel after his return from injury.
Be wary of another false dawn
This was a fine win, but fans and players need to make sure they don’t think Sunderland have cracked it.
The 5-0 win against Tranmere heralded a similar outpouring of joy, but was quickly proceeded by a dire run of results.
Key now is a sustained run of form – which could propel the Black Cats up the table.