Sunderland beat MK Dons 1-0 on Saturday afternoon and moved back into a play-off position thanks to a wonder goal by Lynden Gooch. Phil Parkinson had this to say afterwards: “We had to work hard to earn the victory but I thought in the end we deserved to win because we had some very good chances to score before we did. Then Alim [Ozturk] had a great chance to make it 2-0, but sometimes you have to dig in and show some resilience and concentration levels, and I felt we did that today. You have to win all types of games to be a successful team. Today was more of a resilient performance, because when you have had the wins we have had teams are going to respect you more and set things up to make it as difficult as possible for you. MK Dons did that and I genuinely think they are a much better team than their league position suggests because they have a lot of good players.”

“We felt that the shape of their team was giving us a few too many problems in the first half, and we adjusted one or two areas tactically at half-time. I wanted the whole team to come up the pitch five or ten yards because we were just a bit off it in terms of our intensity levels, but we raised our games kicking towards our 4,000 travelling army and got a deserved win in the end. You need certain characteristics to win away from home and we are starting to get there. Our mentality is stronger, when you go away from home you are never going to get it all your own way but our concentration levels were there, everyone did their jobs including at set-pieces near the end when the ball came in our box, and we stuck to our task today so we get back on the coach and head back North with a deserved three points. It was a moment of real quality from Lynden, I had a good chat with him in the hotel this morning about how he has done since he came into the team but I want him to push on again, not just accept the pats on the back that have come his way because he is a very good player and he has to keep on taking his game to another level.”

Kyle Lafferty came off the bench and made a positive contribution. Parkinson said: “Lafferty nearly had a dream start, he had a chance and then soon after that he put a great ball across the box for Alim’s header. It was good to get him some gametime and it was good for him to be part of it today. He could have played for longer, but I don’t think he is ready to start games yet. He has another week now to work on the training pitch, but he showed some good touches today and showed a good appetite to work for the team. That’s what we are stressing to all the lads, it is about working for the team and the work ethic first and foremost. It was just a call between Lafferty and Grigg and I just felt that Lafferty coming to the club might just have that spring in his step, but Will has been great in the dressing room before and after the game, congratulating everyone. It’s tough when you have to make a call like that but, unfortunately, you can only pick seven subs.”