By Kevin Phillips

6th Mar, 2020 | 1:47pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips feels let down by two Sunderland players

Kevin Phillips has expressed his frustration with the performances of Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire for Sunderland.

The only English winner of the European Golden Shoe, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hoped the pair would be back to their best for the upcoming visit of Gillingham on Saturday.

The wingers were unable to unlock the Coventry defence in last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat after the Black Cats fell behind to the League One leaders after just two minutes.

Gooch, 24, and Maguire, 31, have been in scintillating form, scoring 10 and 11 respectively this campaign.

It ended a five-match unbeaten run for Phil Parkinson’s side as well as putting a dent in their hopes of achieving automatic promotion.

When asked for his assessment of individual performances at the weekend, Phillips, who was at the game, told Football Insider: “I was disappointed in the performances from the two players who have been on-fire in Gooch and Maguire. Whether that was good work from Coventry or it was just one of those games where they could not get into it… I would like to think the latter. They could not get enough of the ball to influence the game.

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“No one stood out from my point of view. Collectively they battled well and defended well apart from the first minute and a half.

“In that final third the quality was lacking and it was surprising because Sunderland have produced in that department of late.

“They need to get back on it this weekend for Gillingham at home.”  

The defeat saw the Red and Whites fall to fifth in the table, four points adrift of Rotherham and second-place.

The Stadium of Light welcomes mid-table Gillingham on Saturday as the Black Cats look to re-ignite their promotion push.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider takeover all the more likely after off-pitch agreement.