Phil Parkinson confirms Sunderland will consider free agent signing after Bailey Wright injury blow

Phil Parkinson says he will consider signing a free agent in the coming weeks, with Bailey Wright unlikely to play again this season.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 2:33 pm

Wright suffered ankle ligament damage in the latter stages of the 1-0 win over Oxford United last weekend, and is set to be out for eight to twelve weeks.

Alim Ozturk is set to replace him in the team for the visit of Bristol Rovers this weekend, with Parkinson admitting that he was unfortunate to lose his place in the team earlier in the campaign.

Parkinson is backing the popular Ozturk to make an impression, but admits he does not want to be left short in case of a further injury or suspension.

Sunderland defender Bailey Wright

He has identified a couple of potential further options who he feels could add cover, but any decision would be dependent on their current fitness levels.

Parkinson also has Conor McLaughlin who is comfortable playing on the right of the back three, but is reluctant to move Jordan Willis given his exceptional form and regular attacking contributions from the right.

“Bailey’s injury is disappointing for us,” Parkinson said.

“It's part and parcel of the game unfortunately, players get injured and you've got to be ready to deal with it.

“It's an opportunity for Alim, Conor McLaughlin.

“We'll look around as well to see if there's an out of contract option, we've spoken to a couple of people this week,” he added.

“If there's someone we think is right, [we'll do it] to ensure we've got the strength in that department again.

“As everybody knows, when I left Alim out, it was a tough call because he's playing so well.

“He's a popular figure in the dressing room and with supporters because he trains with a real professionalism and plays with honesty

“He comes back into the frame and there's no qualms with that.

“We've got players who are comfortable there [as cover for Alim] but it means moving Jordan as well.

“We've got the players to cover those positions, but equally, we will look at a couple and if one is physically not far off, we might make another signing.”