This Sunderland player is 'key' for Phil Parkinson and how he wants to play

Phil Parkinson has described Duncan Watmore as a ‘key’ player after handing him his first league start of the season.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 2:07 pm
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

Watmore made his return from injury in the recent EFL Trophy win over Grimsby Town and was rewarded with another start at Adams Park, starting brightly.

It was always the plan to only give him an hour or so, this his first start since suffering a serious ankle injury at the same ground back in March.

Parkinson explained why he could prove a key player: “I just felt that we needed a threat of someone running in behind and that’s why I went with Duncan.

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“He played against Grimsby [in the EFL Trophy] and played a good proportion of that game, I saw him train on Thursday and I thought he was ready.

“In my mind, I didn’t want to stretch him too far and see him get injured because he is a key player and we need his legs to stretch teams - we don’t want to play in front of teams all the time.”

Wycombe moved second in League One, Gareth Ainsworth’s side now seven points clear of Sunderland who dropped to 10th.

Describing Wycombe’s style of play, Parkinson said: “They are kind of a throwback type of team were they get the ball up to Akinfenwa, win the ball and flood areas, play for set plays and they are good at what they do.

“They have some good players too, they have bought some good players in.

“They have that fighting spirit, you can see that and they make it difficult for you.

“It was no different to what we expected.”

On Sunderland, Ainsworth added: "What a club. They [the fans] come down in their thousands again. Huge respect to Sunderland because their such a huge club.

“Being in this league you can get these types of games - your Sunderlands, your Ipswichs and your Portsmouths. Big clubs who’ve played in the Premier League.

”It was just a great moment for us to see that final whistle go and know we’ve won the game. Last season we almost did it and conceded quite late on. This time we got over the line.”