Sunderland picked up a much-needed three points on Tuesday, as they trashed Tranmere Rovers 5-0 at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats had been struggling for form in recent weeks, which included a 1-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park on Saturday.
But Phil Parkinson couldn’t have asked for a much better performance in his first home game in charge at Sunderland as they comfortably swept aside a newly-promoted Tranmere side.
Goals from Duncan Watmore, Chris Maguire and Lynden Gooch saw the home side three goals ahead at half-time. Will Grigg and Luke O’Nien then added two further goals in the second-half to see Sunderland wrap up a convincing win.
It means that Parkinson’s side move up to seventh in the League One table, and are only outside of the play-off positions on goal difference.
We look at THREE things we’ve learnt about Sunderland following this emphatic win.
Will Grigg is finding his confidence
Grigg has endured a sluggish start to the season, which is arguably why Sunderland weren’t in the automatic promotion places in the early stages of the season.
The Northern Irishman arrived from Wigan in the January transfer window, but has struggled to make a significant impact at the Stadium of Light.
He scored four goals in League One last season, but struggled for consistent game time under Jack Ross in his time in charge at Sunderland, but Grigg has kicked on since the former St Mirren boss left the club.
The former Wigan forward scored his first league goal of the season against Tranmere, and he’s starting to show confidence in front of goal, which will be pleasing to see for Sunderland supporters.
Duncan Watmore is making up for lost time
Watmore has had his fair share of injury problems over the years, but it appears that the winger is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
He was on hand to score and assist once, whilst also winning the free-kick which Chris Maguire scored against Tranmere, and he’ll be hoping he can stay injury-free for the rest of this year’s league campaign.
Watmore is the type of player that can change the course of a game on his own at times, and he’ll fancy his chances of playing a key role in Sunderland’s promotion bid under Phil Parkinson.
The win was the type of confidence-booster Sunderland needed
Sunderland have endured somewhat of a ‘hangover’ from their play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic at Wembley last season, and there would have been fears that they would drop even further behind the promotion-chasing pack in League One.
After their defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend, it was important that Phil Parkinson’s side picked up a much-needed three points against Tranmere, and they did it in ruthless fashion.
It seems as though this could be the morale boosting win that they need to kick-start their promotion bid this season.