Kevin Phillips tips Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson to start Lynden Gooch this weekend at the expense of Danny Graham.
The Wearside legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, is adamant that Gooch, 24, has forced his way into the starting eleven against Peterborough United after a “fantastic” cameo against Oxford United.
The attacking midfielder came off the bench to score a superb solo effort as the Black Cats won 2-0 at the Kassam Stadium.
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Sunderland welcome the Posh to the Stadium of Light on Saturday and the visitors will arrive in high sprits following a late comeback win against Fleetwood Town last weekend.
Phillips suggested that Parkinson may select summer signing Aiden O’Brien to lead the attack instead of Danny Graham and hand Gooch his first league start of the season.
“Gooch has to start against Peterborough,” he told Football Insider.
“Parky needed a result and he got a great result down there. It was a big boost for everyone concerned. It takes the pressure off.
“Gooch was asked to make an impact and stake a claim for the next game. He was fantasic – he did all you can ask for. Generally, when that happens the player starts the next game.
“They could push Aiden O’Brien up top and then bring Gooch in for Graham. Gooch carries attacking threat with his offensive style. O’Brien has started out wide so far but it has not quite worked, so he might look to change it.
“Yes, they got the win at the weekend but it has taken Gooch to come off the bench to do that. That slight tweak might need to be made. Stick O’Brien up top. They need to find room for Gooch.”