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Parkinson gets the substitutes right.
One thing that Sunderland's game plan has lacked recently was effective substitutions. Phil Parkinson made the right calls at the right time against Ipswich. The introduction of Kyle Lafferty for Denver Hume tied up the Ipswich defence which had just about held on during a second half which Sunderland dominated. It was the big Northern Irishman who opened up the space which allowed Chris Maguire to fizz his strike into the bottom left of the goal.
Is Chris Maguire Sunderland's best player?
If the King is on song then Sunderland also tend to be on their groove. Despite a slow start Maguire began to trouble the opposition as the game wore on, popping up with possession in dangerous positions and making a nuisance of himself. The man who arrived from Bury on a free at the start of last season notched his eleventh goal of the campaign to go with his six assists and win the game against Ipswich. He is currently Sunderland's most effective and influential player and Parkinson deserves praise for helping the Scot to get back to his best.
Sunderland back in the play off places.
As Sunderland have won their six pointer against Ipswich they have leapfrogged their Saturday opponents into the play off positions. The rest of the top six also won their games this weekend, including Rotherham who beat Lincoln city 1-0 on Friday. Parkinson has to keep his side in the ascendancy and apply pressure to the teams above in the hope of taking advantage if any of them slip up in the promotion race. There's plenty of football left to be played this season and the Black Cats are definitely in the mix to fight their way out of the clutches of League One.