Phil Parkinson explains his 'tough' Will Grigg decision and reveals his reaction in Sunderland dressing room

Phil Parkinson admits it was a ‘tough’ call to drop Will Grigg from the matchday squad for the 1-0 win over MK Dons - with new signing Kyle Lafferty making his debut from the bench.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 1:33 pm

Grigg, who hasn’t played a minute for Sunderland in the last six games, was part of the travelling squad that made the trip to Stadium MK.

He was seen running laps of the pitch and sprinting up and down the touchline before the matchday squad came out to warm up ahead of the League One clash.

But Grigg was not named in the squad, with Parkinson admitting it was a tough call but he felt Lafferty would have an extra spring in his step having signed last week on a free.

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Sunderland striker Kyle Lafferty warming up before making his debut for the Black Cats.

The ex-Rangers and Hearts striker made his debut in the second half, shooting over within a minute of coming on.

Explaining the decision, Parkinson told the Echo: “It was just a call between Lafferty and Grigg, I felt Lafferty just coming into the club may just have that spring in his step.

“Grigg has trained well and he was great in the dressing room before and after with the boys, congratulating everybody.

“It is always tough when you have to make a call like that but you can only pick seven subs.”

Sunderland won the game 1-0 thanks to Lynden Gooch’s stunning strike in the 79th minute, curling home a stunning left-footed effort into the top corner to send the 4,000-strong Sunderland support wild.