Sunderland boss explains his stance on potential Will Grigg exit after holding talks with striker

Phil Parkinson held talks with Will Grigg over his Sunderland future this week, with both agreeing that they would be happy for him to stay at the club.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:00 pm

Parkinson admits that Grigg could yet leave the club, but with interested parties unable to present a deal suitable for the Black Cats at the moment, it is increasingly unlikely.

Grigg is currently unavailable for selection due to a virus, but has missed the last two matchday squads when available.

The arrival of Kyle Lafferty has pushed him further down the pecking order for the time being.

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Sunderland striker Will Grigg

“Griggy is fine,” Parkinson said.

“If the window closes and Griggy is with us, great, we get on with it and make sure he contributes from now until the end of the season.

“We'll have phonecalls about Griggy and we already have, because he has a proven track record.

“I couldn't say 100% that something wouldn't happen with Will, but at the moment it hasn't.

“We had a good chat this week, I said I'm happy and he's said he's happy, that if he's here he will fight for his place.

“He wants to make a contribution.

“Equally, if something came up and we could get another player in, and it suited all parties, then that could happen.

“Will won't somewhere he doesn't want to go, and we won't let him go unless we're happy with the cover as well.”

Parkinson insists that shiudl he stay and get an opportunity, the team’s change of shape gives him a better chance of succeeding.

“With Griggy, I feel that the shape of the team and the way we play at the moment, he wouldn't be isolated,” he said.

“When I first came and in the games I watched, in the 4-2-3-1, there is a tendency that happens, you've got to run in behind and hold the ball up.

“Griggy needs people around him. The shape at the moment, with the wing backs high and the two dropping in and around the number nine, he would have more bodies round him to take the weight off him in general play.

“But if he's still here, he's got to work hard to get into the team.”