Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has jumped to Will Grigg’s defence after the 1-1 draw with Coventry City, The Sunderland Echo reports.
Grigg started for Sunderland but was unable to find the back of the net. He was eventually replaced by teenager Benji Kimpioka, who scored Sunderland’s late equaliser.
It has been a tough year for Grigg, who was hoping to improve on his below-par half-season with Sunderland in 2018/19. But he has added just one goal in 16 league games. The Northern Ireland striker also has one in the EFL Cup and one more in the EFL Trophy.
Parkinson believes Grigg can turn his form around. He added that Grigg is working hard in training to improve and that Sunderland fans will see the best of him.
Parkinson on Grigg
Sunderland boss Parkinson said (via The Sunderland Echo): “I feel for him, he is trying. Sometimes his body language when he is disappointed in himself – it is not that he doesn’t care – it is just he is frustrated that nothing is dropping for him.
“We definitely won’t give up on him, we will keep working with him, I see his qualities in training, his calmness in finishing both with his feet and his head as well. I’ve had several chats with him and want to help him. You don’t mind spending time with players who want to get better and want to improve, he is certainly in that category.”
It is probably for the best if Sunderland take Grigg out of the firing line for a while. Duncan Watmore and Kimpioka both changed the game when they came on at the weekend and this should be Parkinson’s starting solution.
Grigg is receiving a lot of criticism and it is clearly affecting him. He is a proven goalscorer at League One level but it is not clicking at the moment and Sunderland need a striker to spearhead their promotion push.