Sunderland breezed past Rochdale last night by scoring three goals in the opening 32 minutes as the visitors were unable to respond.
It was exactly the match Phil Parkinson would likely have wanted. He decided not to make any changes to his team despite the quick turnaround since beating Ipswich and his plan paid off. After wrapping up the three points, his players were able to take their foot off the gas, the only drawback being that Chris Maguire had to be taken off due to injury.
However, the Black Cats’ assistant manager Steve Parkin has revealed that the 31-year-old only sustained a dead leg and will be alright – he may even be fit enough to play against Oxford at the weekend.
SP on Maguire: It's just a dead-leg – he'll be alright. #safc
— James Hunter (@JHunterChron) February 11, 2020
That is very good news for Sunderland as Maguire has been a central figure over the last few weeks, becoming a talismanic figure for the team, particularly in attack. He highlighted exactly that on Tuesday, playing a huge role in all three goals by assisting the first and supplying the cross for the second and third goals, with one an own goal.
Maguire is thriving on the right-wing as he is able to deliver pinpoint crosses and also roam into attacking positions, with his winner against Ipswich a fine example of that.
Parkinson deserves praise for altering Maguire’s position as it has certainly got the best out of him, sparking Sunderland’s brilliant run of just one defeat in 12 games.
A return of 10 goal contributions in his last 12 games (per WhoScored) shows that keeping Maguire fit is essential if Sunderland are to maintain their promotion push and therefore Parkinson should be careful not to burn him out.
Just how important is Maguire to this team Sunderland fans? Tell us what you think of him and where you would be without him!
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