Phil Parkinson praises Sunderland’s professionalism after beating Tranmere



Posted Thursday, January 30, 2020 by PA

Phil Parkinson praises Sunderland’s professionalism after beating Tranmere

Phil Parkinson praised the professionalism of his players after Sunderland moved up into the Sky Bet League One play-off positions with a scrappy 1-0 win against Tranmere at Prenton Park.

Relegation-threatened Rovers had been the better side in the first half but a header from Charlie Wyke on the hour, following Chris Maguire’s free-kick, proved to be the difference.

Tranmere had Manny Monthe sent off late on, helping the Black Cats to see the game out despite the trappings of the poor Prenton Park pitch.

Parkinson said: “The pitch is very difficult, as has been documented through their cup run. They’ve had a lot of games on it recently as well but we had to do what we had to do tonight. Simple as that.

“It was never going to be pretty but we had to be resilient and play the right ball at the right time and I felt we did that and we got our rewards.

“I was on the verge of making a change just before the goal, but when the goal came we were on top I felt, so I just kept to the same.

“Away from home it’s all about the mentality of managing the game, doing the right things and playing that right ball at the right time – that’s key in these conditions. I thought we showed a lot of nous tonight.”

Sunderland should have led early on when Bailey Wright headed a well-worked free-kick move over the bar from close range.

Jon McLaughlin was called into action at the other end, having to get down low to his left to keep out Kane Wilson’s curling free-kick.

The hosts had controlled much of the contest but that all changed when Wyke beat the Rovers’ defence to Maguire’s dead ball, sneaking his header home at the near post.

Tranmere appeared to tire after falling behind but could count themselves unfortunate to see Monthe shown a second yellow card late on – a decision that enraged boss Micky Mellon.

He said: “We’ve conceded from another set-play, that’s the disappointing part. We don’t really need to commit the foul and then we’ve got to do better.

“But over the course of the game I don’t think my goalkeeper has had a save to make. It was a very tight game.

“The game has to be about the players. Too often it’s not. Manny’s isn’t a sending off. I don’t even think it’s a foul. It’s definitely not a booking.

“Their number three has been booked and he’s made about four or five fouls, so if there’s any consistency why is he still on and I’m down to 10 men? Now I suffer because I don’t have Manny for Saturday. It’s crazy.

“But we can’t give cheap free-kicks away and we’ve got to do better in the box. I get that.”

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