Phil Parkinson reacts to Will Grigg's encouraging cameo as Sunderland's striker hunt continues
Phil Parkinson says Will Grigg has given himself the best chance of success by returning for pre-season in peak condition.
An excellent cameo from the bench was one of the most eye-catching elements of Sunderland’s first pre-season friendly, the 29-year-old producing a goal and an assist as the Black Cats ran out 3-1 winners over Gateshead.
Grigg has struggled for opportunities since the arrival of Parkinson, and there were doubts over his future after a series of candid comments from the striker earlier this summer.
Parkinson believes Grigg is fitter than he has been ‘for a very long time’ as he bids to make an impression ahead of the season start.
“I'm pleased, [with Will’s performance] obviously,” Parkinson said.
“All Will could do was come back in the shape that he has done.
“He's fitter than he's been for a very long time.
“It was a great cross from Jack Diamond and an excellent finish.”
Grigg and Charlie Wyke are likely to face more competition for minutes, with Parkinson clear that he wishes to recruit another striker.
The club’s efforts have been hampered by the new salary cap rules, with former Black Cat Danny Graham now one of the names under discussion.
"We want to get in another forward and he's one we've spoken to,” Parkinson said.
"It's an important position as everyone knows and tight games can be settled by that one, clinical finish.
“The more strikers you have in the building, the better chance you've got.”