Phil Parkinson verdict on Sunderland defeat at Wycombe Wanderers as reign starts with loss
The Black Cats failed to muster a shot on target until stoppage time, when Aiden McGeady added some rare spark with an effort from range that was turned onto the crossbar.
But it was a second away defeat on the spin for Sunderland, the Black Cats never recovering from an early set piece goal.
Luke O’Nien gave away another foul just before the half hour mark, defender Darius Charles was on hand to score following the free-kick.
Parkinson said: “A difficult game, we knew it would be and the way Wycombe played, very physical and get the ball in the box and put you under pressure.
“I thought we competed well and it is so disappointing to concede from a set play. We spoke about not giving away needless free-kicks away and we did and we got punished for it.
“We lost the first header and they reacted quickest to second ball.
“The way we approached it and the way the lads were going about their business was good but we knew it was the area they were strong, we got punished.
“We had a lot of the ball, did we create enough? Show enough quality? Probably not but it wasn’t a lack of effort and heart from the lads - we just didn’t produce enough moments of quality to get the goal back.
“We can’t get too low from the defeat, dust ourselves down and go again Tuesday.”
Parkinson was adamant he’d seen enough that this Sunderland side can start climbing the table, but he wants to see more quality in the final third – with just one attempt on goal.
Parkinson said: “The squad is decent. There is definitely quality there.
“I think all the staff and the supporters know it is about trying to strike that balance in our play because we need to carry a threat going forward without leaving ourselves exposed at the back.”
He added: “In terms of effort, they tried to do everything we asked them to do but we needed more quality in our play.
“When it is a game like that and it is 100mph and it’s first balls, second balls inside the box, reacting quickly, it’s just about having the calmness as well to find that pass.
“We did it a couple of times in the first half in good areas but we just didn’t have enough of those moments in the final third when we were incisive.”