By Kevin Phillips

3rd Feb, 2021 | 6:00pm

'Amazing' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips in awe of 'Great' Sunderland player

Kevin Phillips has heaped praise on Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke after the Black Cats beat MK Dons 3-0 on Tuesday night.

The Stadium of Light legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said the 28-year-old is “leading by example” with his “amazing” performances in red and white.

Wyke scored his 15th goal of the 2020/21 campaign as Sunderland qualified for the Semi-Finals of the Football League Trophy with a comfortable victory at Stadium MK.

The Middlesbrough-born centre-forward has been one of Lee Johnson’s standout performers this season – he has scored eight goals in nine starts since the 39-year-old’s appointment on 5 December.

Wyke has fought off competition from Will Grigg and Danny Graham at the Stadium of Light, the latter pair both leaving the club in last month’s transfer window.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Wyke’s recent form, Phillips said:

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“He is stepping up to the plate, 100 per cent.

“Charlie is probably the first name on the team-sheet for Lee Johnson. He is leading the line so well, he’s a real handful and he is chipping in with goals.

“I think that’s 15 goals now for the season which is a great return. You can only get out of League One with a 20+ goalscorer in your side and at the moment, Sunderland have that man.

“Charlie Wyke is leading by example at the moment, he has been amazing.”

Speaking after the win at MK Dons, Johnson said: “Our priority is just winning. Winning breeds fantastic habits.

“There’s a lot of protocol that we’re working on, and the lads have been great. We haven’t always had the best results, but over the period of time, we’ve scored more than we’ve conceded.

In other news, Gillingham have rejected multiple approaches from Charlton for a 25-year-old attacker.