Phil Parkinson was relieved and delighted after his Sunderland side put Doncaster Rovers to the sword on Sunday afternoon. “There was a terrific atmosphere, it just felt like our supporters made a difference, and I wanted to thank them for that. Darren Moore (Doncaster manager) will say it felt like a home game for us, even with a few minutes remaining. I am so desperate to get it going here. I am doing everything I can here, working tirelessly with my staff to get it going … I am desperate to get this club going. You have to be thick skinned at times, take the flak. I have got thick skin and I am confident I know what to do to get this team winning again. It was about doing the talking on the football pitch and we did that, and the supporters responded terrifically, we sent them back up the A1 and A19 in good spirits. There is so much passion in the city of Sunderland. All I want to do is get the lads to play with the spirit with what we have shown today. I would like them to continue that and get people talking about football.”

Parkinson is hoping we can push on from the victory when we travel to Fleetwood on New Year’s Day: “We need momentum, we keep our feet on the ground and enjoy that feeling, it does feel great to win away from home when you have the away support we had. You have to be together and show resilience and character and we did that. We will be back in tomorrow and look at New Year’s Day. It’s the best we have played since I have been here and I am so pleased they got the rewards. The supporters were like a 12th man. When the games come thick and fast over this period, there’s tired legs, but when you have 4,000 fans like that it felt like a home game and it helps. We took the game to them, we could have scored more. It was a top class save from Luke O’Nien’s header as well, we had a few other chances towards the end. I am so pleased, just frustrated we conceded that goal, we put in a good performance in the second half. Doncaster we knew would start quick but we overode that and took the game to them. Some of the play was brilliant today. Chris got the goal. He was a big factor. He is getting fitter, working harder, we are working with him all the time to see out games. He is getting there and we are telling him that is where he needs to be.”

Parkinson is looking at former Sunderland goalkeeper Ben Alnwick and Bristol City’s 19-year-old striker Antoine Semenyo. Parkinson said: “Ben has been coming in and doing a bit of training, it’s always good to have extra keepers on the training pitch. We have other priorities because we have two good keepers and young Anthony Patterson as well. We are looking to improve the squad. He (Semenyo) is a player we have looked at and has pace and power.”