Kevin Phillips raved about a “fantastic” away performance by Sunderland that saw Phil Parkinson’s side grab all three points at Oxford United last weekend. 

The 2000 European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed Parkinson was visibly “delighted” after the game when the two shared a chat.

The Black Cats took the lead early on, John Mousinho heading into his own net from a Chris Maguire corner after three minutes.

It would prove to be the only goal of the game in what was testing conditions at the Kassam Stadium with Storm Dennis hitting the UK over the weekend.

Phillips was impressed with how the Mackems defended throughout, especially given the difficult weather.

“I spoke to Phil afterward and he was delighted, naturally,” the ex-Stadium of Light striker told Football Insider

“I thought it was a good away performance. They defended the box with their lives. Everything you would expect from a team that is bang in form at the moment. Although again we got the rub of the green.

“The weather second half was horrendous and Oxford’s ground has the open end, the players did really well to cope.

“Fantastic result for Phil Parkinson. Every opportunity of going up automatically if they keep performing the way they are doing.”

However, it was not all good news for the away side. Bailey Wright limped off after 84 minutes to be replaced by Alim Ozturk.

It is now three wins on the bounce for Parkinson’s side and there is now a growing belief on Wearside that automatic promotion is a realistic aim.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider new arrival can be “hero” at the Stadium of Light.