'Sunderland need a plan B' says former striker plus Portsmouth boss makes honest admission: News and transfer rumours

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips says his former side will need a plan B in the play-offs – but is backing the Black Cats to win promotion.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:30 pm

Lee Johnson’s team will face Michael Appleton’s Lincoln in a two-leg semi-final after finishing fourth in League One.

Speaking on the EFL’s highlights show on Quest, Phillips said: “There’s pressure on them again just because of the size of the club and their history in the play-offs hasn’t been great.

“The pressure is on them, they haven’t been in great form, but they have a second crack of the whip.

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Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I tipped them to go up automatically, they were in a great position and they’ve fallen away.

“It almost seems like Michael Appleton’s game plan, and most teams have done it, is stop Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke. Stop the supply to them and you’ll win the football match.

“They have to come up with a plan B in these play-off games in my opinion.”

Asked who he thinks will win the play-offs, Phillips replied: “I’ve got to back my old club Sunderland to go up. They’ve got to do it at some point, so I’m going Sunderland”

Ipswich prepare for departures

Elsewhere in League One, Ipswich are preparing for several departures as players reach the end of their contracts.

According to The East Anglian, experienced duo Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse are set to be the headline exits, while winger Gwion Edwards is also set to become a free agent.

Sunderland were one of several clubs who were linked with Edwards last summer, and The Anglian report there are several clubs keen on signing the 28-year-old.

Portsmouth boss makes honest admission

Finally, Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley says his side weren’t good enough to go up – even if they finished in the play-offs.

Pompey were beaten 1-0 by Accrington Stanley on the final day of the season, meaning Oxford moved into the final play-off place, along with Blackpool, Sunderland and Lincoln.

‘If you want the brutal truth, we weren’t good enough to get promoted,” said Cowley.

‘Even if we’d got into the play-offs, we weren’t good enough to get promoted. That’s the truth.

‘That’s the truth, and I include myself in that.”

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