The atmosphere in the Sunderland dressing room is great and you can tell because of the impact of their substitutes, according to Kevin Phillips.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Black Cats legend delivered his verdict after attending their 1-0 victory over Swindon Town at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

Substitute Chris Maguire whipped in a free-kick from the right-hand side that Charlie Wyke met with his head to take Sunderland to within five points of the automatic promotion places.


Lee Johnson used four of his five substitutes against Swindon and introduced Aiden O’Brien, Jack Diamond and Daniel Neil along with Maguire.

Asked what he made of the quartet’s impact, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It was great.

“That’s what you want, you don’t want people sulking and moping and when they come on they don’t make an impact.

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“But I watched the game the other night and Maguire made an impact when he came on. He was lively on the ball. O’Brien was chasing everything.

“It’s getting towards the end of the season and it will be over before we know it. They can probably smell the potential chance of getting promoted.

“There’s no point moping, when you get your chance take it. Maguire did that at the weekend with a wonderful goal. 

“He’ll probably be disappointed he didn’t start the other night but he’s come on and looked lively, he created the goal with the set play.

“Competition is really good, it’s healthy. It’s what you want.

“I would imagine the atmosphere in the camp going into training is good, they’re on a good little run. At the minute, everything’s looking rosy.”

In other news, Sunderland have been tipped to re-sign Jermain Defoe by his friend after Rangers exit reveal.