‘They will be up there’ - Sunderland boss Parkinson on clash with promotion rivals Town

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson says tonight's clash with Ipswich Town will be a test of both team

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson says tonight's clash with Ipswich Town will be a test of both teams' promotion credentials Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA

Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson says tonight’s clash with Ipswich Town is a a test of both teams’ promotion credentials.

Paul Lambert’s Blues head to the Stadium of Light (7pm ko) in second place in League One on goal difference, having won their last two matches 1-0, while the Black Cats sit in sixth, having played a game less than Town and only lost once in the league so far.

The sides are two of the biggest in the division, with tonight’s clash being a real litmus test for Lambert’s men, who have struggled to beat ther promotion rivals so far this season and all of last campaign.

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Parkinson said: “Ipswich had a good start, then they had a couple of indifferent away performances at Doncaster and Lincoln, but they have bounced back in two tight games against Gillingham and Crewe and come out on top in both of those.

“They will be up there and one of the teams that will be up in and around the automatic promotion places come the end of the season.

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“They will have been pleased to get the win against Crewe at the weekend. Crewe will probably feel they deserved something from the game but it’s about taking your chances when you are on top and Ipswich did that while Crewe didn’t.

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“People will look at this game and see it as a test of both sides’ promotion credentials - that is bound to happen when you play against teams that are expected to compete at the top of the table.

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“For our part, we have beaten Peterborough already this season and we went to Charlton - who have since emerged as a very strong side - and we outplayed them for long periods, even though it ended goalless.

“Hull are another side near the top and we dominated the Carabao Cup game against them, although we ended up losing on penalties.

“Then against Portsmouth in our last home game, (3-1 loss) admittedly we weren’t at our best.

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“So we have played a few of the top six contenders and this is another one, and I’m pleased we’re going into it on the back of a terrific win at the weekend.”

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