Phil Parkinson reacts to Sunderland's point and slams Fleetwood Town penalty decision

Phil Parkinson believes there is a 'renewed spirit' in the Sunderland squad as they came from behind to earn a point at Fleetwood Town.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 8:48 am

The Black Cats fell behind to a Ched Evans penalty in the 13th minute after Charlie Wyke was judged to have fouled Josh Morris.

Sunderland, who started slowly, edged their way back into the game and had several good openings through Chris Maguire, who saw a low effort saved, Charlie Wyke hit the post, while Luke O'Nien blasted over.

Jon McLaughlin was called on more than once to keep Sunderland in the game.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lynden Gooch in action against Fleetwood Town.

Maguire eventually rescued a point in front of the travelling 1,000-strong Sunderland support from the penalty spot after sub Duncan Watmore was brought down.

Parkinson was pleased with the performance, with Lincoln City the visitors to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Parkinson added: “There is a renewed spirit in the camp and the lads are showing the required character to get results.

“We were all frustrated we didn't get the three points but there was a lot of good signs.

"We go into the home game ready to perform to the best of our ability and finish this festive period off in good style.

“They have some good players, have a lot of attacking threat, coming to this small tight ground can sometimes catch teams out. We started slowly but got to grips with it and played some excellent football.

“We kept going, didn’t force it, drew a mistake out of them.”

The Sunderland boss was unhappy with the penalty decision in the first half, referee Anthony Backhouse judging Wyke to have fouled Morris.

Parkinson said: “I don’t know what he saw there, I will leave the Sunderland fans to watch and judge that for themselves.

“It is an honest challenge in the box you get 20 times in a game, how the ref has given a penalty I don’t know. It was a poor decision.

“It didn’t affect is. We dominated for large periods second half and had come good chances, we kept probing, passing, we were patient when we needed to be.

“There were some great crosses in, we got our reward late on, Chris put it away well.”