Sunderland boss launches defence of Will Grigg and makes claim about refereeing at the Stadium of Light
Phil Parkinson insists that Will Grigg cares about being a success at Sunderland – and remains convinced that the 28-year-old will come good.
Grigg suffered another frustrating afternoon against Coventry City, replaced by eventual goalscorer Benji Kimpioka.
The January signing still has just one league goal to his name this season and Parkinson admits he ‘feels’ for the striker, who he insisted has a future under his management.
“I feel for him, he is trying” Parkinson said.
“Sometimes his body language when he is disappointed in himself - it is not that he doesn’t care - it is just he is frustrated that nothing is dropping for him.
“He is probably thinking if he’d stayed on that could have come to me and could have side-footed it in. He is a very good finisher.
“I do believe that [he’ll come good], he is a good lad and wants to do it, he is doing everything he can to achieve that.
“We definitely won’t give up on him, we will keep working with him, I see his qualities in training, his calmness in finishing both with his feet and his head as well.
“I’ve had several chats with him and want to help him. You don’t mind spending time with players who want to get better and want to improve, he is certainly in that category.
“His finishing is top, top class.”
Parkinson also felt Grigg had been unfortunate to be flagged offside when Denver Hume played him through on goal, and blasted the officials for not awarding a penalty when Aiden McGeady was brought down in the box in the first half.
“The one first half when Will was flagged offside, he was onside,” he said.
“The key moment is also when McGeady didn’t get the penalty decision. I have seen it back, you won’t believe how the ref hasn’t given it, the lad has brought him down just inside the box.
“I think the refs - and I really do feel this in my short time here - almost try too hard to show that they are not being affected by the big crowds and they want to progress as refs.
“That for me is a stonewall penalty.”