Sunderland beat Carlisle United 5-3 and reached the knockout stage of the EFL Trophy. Here’s what Phil Parkinson had to say afterwards: "There were some important lessons for us tonight which we need to take into the games coming up. We were 4-1 up and the game was over but we became a bit slack with the ball and without the ball, and it goes to show you that in football you can never switch off and think the job is done - that's a valuable lesson we have to learn tonight. Carlisle are a decent side, they came back into it, the pressed us, we conceded a poor goal from a set-play and it was game on until we got that fifth goal late in the match. I was pleased with the goals we scored, some of our attacking play was excellent, but the younger lads need to learn that you have to play with a bit of nous and game intelligence, whatever the scoreline. When you concede so early, you still have a hell of a long time to get back into the game. I was pleased with that our reaction to that, turn it round before half-time, and then add more goals in the second half. My only gripe is that period when we went from 4-1 up to 4-3.
The gaffer was happy with Jack Diamond's performance: "Jack was up against a decent young player tonight and it was a good battle but Jack was relentless. Sometimes it didn't go right for him, other times he produced some good moments, and that's the kind of decision-making you only get from the experience of playing league football. Jack has pace and in one-on-one situations he is an exciting player, and he showed that at times tonight. He probably just needs a bit more consistency to his all-round game over the course of the 90 minutes, but it was fantastic for him to get a goal."
Parkinson was full of praise for Luke O’Nien, who played in a back three. "I thought Luke was tremendous tonight, he really was," Parkinson added. “In that left-sided centre-back slot not only did he put in a faultless defensive performance, but he also drove forward to support Denver. It's certainly given us something to think about because those two looked a real threat tonight."
Overall the gaffer is happy with our start to the season. “It's seven games unbeaten [four in the league and three in cup competitions] for us going into the international break, and it was good to score some goals going into the international break. We’ve taken eight points from the four games, and if you add the two cup wins to that too, then I think we’ve got to be pleased. When the fixtures came out, Oxford and Charlton away and Peterborough at home were obviously tough fixtures. We’ve got to be pleased with the return of points. We feel we should have won the Bristol Rovers game in particular, but to be unbeaten after seven if you count the Hull cup game too, that gives us a strong platform to go into the next segment of the season.”