By Kevin Phillips

24th Oct, 2020 | 10:00am

Kevin Phillips Exclusive: Sunderland may have another Will Grigg on their hands

Kevin Phillips has backed Sunderland forward Aiden O’Brien to “come good” despite an indifferent start to the season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the Black Cats legend and 1999/2000 Premier League golden boot winner believes manager Phil Parkinson is currently managing the Republic of Ireland international correctly.

O’Brien moved to the Stadium of Light from Championship side Millwall in the summer and after starting the season in the team has dropped to the bench in recent weeks.

He is yet to score in the league for his new club but did net their 8-1 thrashing of Aston Villa Under-21s in the EFL Trophy.

Prior to his move to Sunderland, O’Brien had played two full seasons in the third-tier for his former side.

He scored 23 goals in 83 games for the Lions and played a key role as they won the playoffs in 2017.

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Parkinson will be hoping he can repeat the feat for Sunderland and Phillips has backed the striker to do so.

He told Football Insider“When you come from the Championship and drop down it can be tough.

“All of sudden you’re not playing with the quality of player that you do in the Championship, naturally because you’re in League One.

“It takes time for players to settle into this league.

“Look at Will Grigg I thought he would eat this league up easily but he’s found it very, very difficult.

“It might just be a similar case. He’s a younger player and I think he will come good.

“I think he’s probably just being managed properly at the minute and it’s paying off at the minute because Sunderland are getting results so you cannot argue with it.

“I’m sure he’ll get more minutes.”

In other news, Kevin Phillips believes Sunderland will be looking to sign a free agent after a big injury blow.