By Kevin Phillips

18th Mar, 2020 | 1:27pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips urges Sunderland to seize 'Big chance'

Kevin Phillips has urged Sunderland to take full advantage of the unscheduled break after falling behind in the promotion race. 

The former Stadium of Light striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted the postponement of fixtures is a “big chance” for the Black Cats to rediscover their form.

The EFL announced on Friday, along with the Premier League and FA, that all fixtures were to be suspended until April 3 due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

COVID-19 is expected to delay the EFL beyond the said date but with UEFA announcing yesterday, the Euros is to be postponed until 2021 there is hope the season can be completed.

When asked if the break could prove to be advantageous for the League One club, Phillips told Football Insider: “Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been disappointing. They were slipping back into the way they were when Phil was first taking over. In terms of results and performances, it feels similar to the last part of when Jack Ross was there.

“It is desperate times but they can use it as a time to reflect, get good training done when you can and go again.

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“Not for teams that were flying but for Sunderland, it might be a big chance. They have players that are carrying knocks, the likes of Gooch and Wyke. Maguire has not been performing at his maximum so it is a good chance to have a break.

“When they reconvene after the break they can have a right push. The forced break can actually do them good.”

Phil Parkinson’s side slipped to seventh in League One after losing to Bristol Rovers 2-0 last time out.

An indifferent patch of form seeing the Red and Whites slip out of the play-off spots.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has revealed to Football Insider behind-the-scenes information on 25-year-old’s attitude.