Under-fire Phil Parkinson has this message for Sunderland squad ahead of busy festive period

Phil Parkinson has told his Sunderland squad everyone has a part to play over the busy festive period.
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Sunderland, 13th in League One, face Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day, Doncaster away on Sunday and Fleetwood Town away on New Year’s Day.

“It’s a critical period for us,” said Parkinson.

“We’ve added some of the U23 players into the squad and I’m sure the squad is going to be utilised to its maximum. Everybody’s got to be ready and prepared to play their part.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.
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“We’ve got to aim, in this four-game block, to get back into that top six in the division, or at least be very close to it. That would help take us into January.

“When the games come thick and fast, it’s the teams with the strongest squads that normally come through these periods.

“It’s good the likes of Charlie Wyke and Lynden Gooch, who have missed a large chunk of the season, are now available.”