Sunderland’s time on the training ground was limited during Parkinson’s early weeks in charge, with a hectic fixture schedule meaning sessions were often limited to recovery.
But a 12 day break after the 1-1 draw with Blackpool has handed the Sunderland boss an opportunity to work with the squad on an extended basis – with O’Nien revealing exactly what the squad have been doing on the training pitch and inside the walls of the Academy of Light.
“When the gaffer came in, for the first two or three weeks - maybe even longer - it went Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday,” he said.
“There were different training groups so it was hard for the manager to stamp his identity and work on the training pitch because that’s where you can nail down everything.
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“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been out there on the field and looking at the video footage and we’re really starting to nail down things.
“It is important, this week has been very good and very enjoyable having three consecutive days out on the training pitch.
“They’re working us hard and we’re becoming more organised and understanding each other better.”
“We’re building momentum on the training ground and we’ve covered every base on the pitch, which gives you confidence going into the weekend,” he continued.
“I think this week is important, we’ve been training well and building off the last game is important.”