This is what Phil Parkinson said to Sunderland players at half-time - and why he was so pleased with Lynden Gooch strike

Patience proved a virtue for Sunderland in their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bristol Rovers at a windswept Stadium of Light.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 10:17 am

Sunderland carved out the better openings in the first 45 minutes, with several crosses flashed across or into the Rovers penalty area but the home attack were unable to capitalise.

Phil Parkinson has revealed what he said to the squad during the break, with the emphasis on keeping cool heads and keep getting bodies into the box.

Abu Ogogo saw red just before the hour mark and the game then opened up, Lynden Gooch and Charlie Wyke scoring two quickfire goals before Luke O'Nien added a third in the 82nd minute, and he should have scored a fourth too.

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Lynden Gooch celebrates his goal against Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light.

In the end it proved a comfortable win, Sunderland’s fourth straight victory.

Parkinson said: "First half we played well but just couldn’t get the goal, you don’t always get everything your own way.

“We just reiterated that at half-time, to keep moving the ball quickly and into the areas we knew we could hurt them.

“Eventually it will come. The other thing at half-time was keeping cool heads. Everybody was getting frustrated with some of the decisions.

“That can’t detract from what we need to do, I was pleased with how we dealt with that second half and it was one of their lads that lost their cool second half.”

Gooch opened the scoring with a sublime finish six-yards out thanks to Chris Maguire's cross, his first of three assists.

Parkinson added: "I was so pleased with the first goal, it was everything we had been working on, the movement, the cross, Goochy getting into the box, it is so important him and Maguire think like No9s when the ball is into the box.

“If you look at the movement, that is a real strikers’ goal.

“Football is about having cool heads, the process, how do we win, we don’t become frantic and have shots from 40-yards or dribble on your own. You won’t win like that.

“Concentrate on the patterns of play that we knew could hurt them.”