Post-match verdict: Parkinson on Rovers stalemate

Phil Parkinson believes Sunderland had more than enough chances to get the victory his side deserved after a frustrating afternoon against Bristol Rovers.

The Black Cats boss admitted that his players faced an uphill struggle after a poor start left them trailing to Luke Leahy’s third minute penalty at the Stadium of Light.

But in the end Sunderland, who levelled through Chris Maguire with eight minutes remaining, recorded 72 per cent of the possession and created the chances to have claimed maximum points.

Parkinson thinks the Lads have to move on from an afternoon when Rovers did their bit to frustrate the home side, contributing to eight minutes of stoppage-time at the end.

“Terrible start for us, it couldn’t have been any worse against a team that came to time waste,” said Parkinson.

“We became frantic after that. We got into our rhythm and started playing after that. We got better as the game wore on. 

“We completely dominated the game in the second half and should have won comfortably in the end. 

“We got the goal, but also had several other chances. Some good goalkeeping, some poor finishing and the save from Max Power’s shot has kept them in the game. 

“I don’t think we could have done much more in the second half in terms of the way we played. The final bit, the final moment of quality needs to be better. Because of the amount of dominance we had we should have been out of sight.”

But the Sunderland boss will not be dwelling too much on it, suggesting that he has seen enough from his team as a response to be positive.

“In terms of the poor start, we gave the free-kick away and didn’t deal with it. Gave away a soft penalty, it wasn’t as if we were on the back foot for 15 minutes and Bristol were moving the ball around. It was just that one moment set us back. 

“It created a frantic 15 minutes where we were too harried on the ball. We didn’t play with that element of calmness. As the half wore on we got better and better, got into great positions. We needed to continue that in the second period and I felt we did that.”

Midfielder George Dobson was red carded in the sixth minute of stoppage-time for a strong challenge on Jayden Mitchell-Lawson.

And Parkinson said: “He won the ball. At the time I thought it was going to be a yellow. The kind of manner of the challenge can be interpreted as a red sometimes. Frustrating for George but it gives someone else the opportunity.”


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