Phil Parkinson met the media ahead of our crunch match against Ipswich Town. Here’s the presser in full…

Parkinson on injuries

“Joel has to follow the protocol for his concussion. He has bruising to his ribs and fell awkwardly on his knee but we have got away with it in a way because there’s nothing too serious. He will miss this weekend but he will be back soon. Charlie has a problem with a shoulder, he has had a scan but he is doing well and made good progress and we will assess him ahead of the weekend. I was concerned about both players being longer term but that doesn’t look like being the case.”

Parkinson on Sunderland retaining cat1 academy status

“We have a brilliant catchment area and we didn’t want to lose our category 1 academy status. Inevitably you are going to get big clubs coming for our better players but I believe our better young players are better off staying with us rather than a top six club with a clear pathway and a better chance of making it rather than getting lost in the system.”

Parkinson on Ipswich

“Every game is huge from here on in and we need to be excited by that prospect. Ipswich started the season great but then had an indifferent run. Recently they have been up and down. They will be three at the back and we know they are a very competitive team. First of all, with games coming thick and fast, that is why we recruited players. If we take points off those around us that will be really important.”

Parkinson on promotion picture

“We have got ourselves in the pack and now it is time to take a deep breath, assess everything, get the staff together for a good chat and we are excited for the challenge ahead. We need to make sure in the summer we can look back and say we had given absolutely everything to try and win promotion.”

Parkinson on Manager of the Month nomination

“Very pleased. Hard work from everybody who works at the training ground and the supporters have been terrific. Success comes from a real team ethic and we have had that both on and off the pitch. It has been a lot of work. The start wasn’t great but we had a clear idea of where we wanted to get to. We have put in some very good performances in the last month and now we need to push on again. You have to have thick skin as a manager but it is important to have good people working with you and a clear direction of where you want to get to.”

Parkinson on Maguire's Player of the Month nomination

“I think everybody knows with Chris that he is striving for consistency and he is starting to show that. He has lost weight; he is training better and he is reaping the rewards for that. I am pleased for him. The challenge for him is not to be patting himself on the back too much because he has the ability to push on again. I had a good chat with his agent, Chris and Nick Allamby on the areas he needed to improve on with how he prepares for games. That is important because players need to do that away from the training ground.”

Phil Parkinson on the transfer window

“We had positions to fill and we ticked those boxes. We needed that competition but I am pleased the window closes so we can integrate the new players and work to improve the players in training and in-match performances.”

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