By Kevin Phillips

28th Oct, 2020 | 6:19pm

Phillips Exclusive: Parkinson told to axe two Sunderland players amid 'Huge' problem

Phil Parkinson must make room in the starting eleven for Sunderland attackers Aiden O’Brien and Danny Graham on Saturday, according to Kevin Phillips.

The Stadium of Light legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed there is “a lot of disappointment” from fans regarding Parkinson’s team selection ahead of the trip to Gillingham.

The Black Cats slipped to seventh in League One on Tuesday night as they threw away the lead twice in a draw 2-2 at Rochdale.

Summer signings Aiden O’Brien and Danny Graham started on from the bench with Charlie Wyke, Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire again chosen to lead the attack.

Phillips suggested Parkinson needs to rethink his team selection after two negative results over the past week.

“They have struggled to find the balance for some time now,” he told Football Insider.

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“We are either talking about the strikers or the defence. The balance is huge. If you get that right you have got half a chance.

“Speaking to people last night there is a lot of disappointment in terms of Phil Parkinson’s team selection although Wyke scored again and is doing his bit for the cause.

“It’s worrying times at Sunderland. They have a really important couple of games coming up.

“Phil is working with the players every day but when you have players like O’Brien , a Championship player and Danny Graham who has played in the Premier League, maybe it is time to change things around and give them an opportunity.

“This is time to look at the team and tweak it a little bit.”

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips claims the Black Cats have signed their own Virgil van Dijk.