Phil Parkinson reflects on Sunderland's January window so far and why he's relaxed about the relatively slow start

Phil Parkinson admits that the recent upturn in form, as well as the return of two talented youngsters, has changed the January dynamic for Sunderland.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 10:57 am

The Black Cats have made just one addition as the window approaches the final stages, with Kyle Lafferty arriving on a free transfer.

Parkinson is expecting to make a second addition on Monday and there will be further signings after that.

A six-game unbeaten run, as well as the availability of Ethan Robson and Elliot Embleton, has taken some of the pressure off, and Parkinson says it is all about making the right calls.

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Phil Parkinson

“Players have emerged in this recent run,” he said.

“We want to make sure we add to the squad but we don’t want to disrupt the spirit that we’re slowly building within the group.

“It’s about that and, equally, making sure we’re not left short in any department.

“That’s the challenge we’ve got and we’re working very hard to strike that balance.

“With the couple of youngsters coming back into the frame, it just gives us that little bit of extra cover, but equally, that doesn’t mean that we’re not looking.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we make the right calls.

“There’s a limit to how many we want in the building, so it’s about making sure they’re the right ones.”

The Black Cats travel to MK Dons this afternoon to face a side struggling in the table, but much improved since Russell Martin took over from Paul Tisdale as manager.

“The key for us is the continuation of our performances,” said Parkinson.

“We’ve been speaking this week on the training ground with the players about what we feel we’ve done well.

“We go down there fully respecting MK Dons, we’ve got a large away following so we’ve got to go with the belief that we can treat it like a home game as we did against Doncaster, using our support to really lift us to another level.

“Russell Martin has made some decent signings, I saw them against Burton and they were unlucky not to get something from the game.

“We fully respect MK Dons but we have to concentrate on playing as well as we can.”