Steve Parkin explains how Sunderland willl approach team selection for Oxford cup clash
Steve Parkin expects Sunderland to name a strong side for the Carabao Cup clash with Oxford United.
Promotion from League One remains the club’s priority this season but at the Kassam Stadium they will face a side in superb and free-scoring form.
Karl Robinson’s side have scored at least two goals in 12 of their last 14 contests and beat West Ham United in the previous round of this competition.
Conscious of that, as well as the desire to build on two encouraging performances of their own, Parkin expects manager Parkinson to look for a ‘balance’ when naming his XI tomorrow.
“We need to make sure select a team which we feel is fresh enough to play with legs and plenty of energy, but also not break too much up when the last two performances have been very good,” he said.
“We'll bear that in mind and we won't select the team until sometime tomorrow.
“We need to make sure on Tuesday night we're competitive, and if it is a stereotypical League One game then we need to be ready for that.
“Then at the weekend we maybe need a bit of freshness so we can play with a freedom and pace on our own patch.
“It's a balance.”
Parkinson is determined to see all of his squad in match action, with the likes of DYlan McGeouch and Alim Ozturk yet to feature since he took charge.
But this weekend’s league game against Southend is followed by three further cup competitions and a chance to rotate.
“We need to get a picture of as many of the players as we can in the next few cup games without making ridiculous changes, there's players that we do really want to see on a matchday and I'm sure Phil will be conscious of that,” Parkin said.
“The way the manager is and his personality, he spends just as much time with those [not involved] as the ones not in the team.
“The picture can change so quickly and so it's important you keep those players physically and mentally right.
“You never quite know what can happen and he's had plenty of chats with the players not involved.”