This is why Phil Parkinson wanted to bring ex-Rangers and Hearts striker to Sunderland

Phil Parkinson says in-form Sunderland will soon be able to call upon new addition Kyle Lafferty, who was training at the Academy of Light on Saturday morning.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 4:45 pm

The 32-year-old ex-Rangers and Hearts striker has signed a short-term deal until the end of the season.

He hasn’t played since the beginning of December following a stint in Norway with Sarpsborg but Parkinson says his fitness levels are good.

On signing the striker, Parkinson said: “I was very pleased, he brings good competition at the top of the pitch, he has good energy, can stretch the pitch.

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Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

“He has good physicality about his game and his movement in and around the box is good.

“He has some work to do, he hasn’t played for a while but that started this morning, he was in training.

“We look forward to working with him properly from Monday.”

When asked how far off he is from playing a part in Sunderland’s promotion bid, Parkinson added: “I don’t think he’d be too far.

“He kept himself ticking over since his spell in Norway.

“We brought him in last week for a physical assessment, that is important when players have had a bit of downtime.

“He looked good in the work we did with him, he is a fit lad. He is a player who has played on the big stage and he is relishing the challenge of being part of this squad.”

Parkinson added: “Competition is so important, we have to make sure we are covered in all areas.

“It is important when players come out the team we don’t weaken it, that is the aim of the transfer window.”

As well as his experience at big clubs, the Black Cats boss is impressed with Lafferty’s exceptional Northern Ireland record.

Lafferty has 20 goals from 73 caps for his country, and has been Michael O’Neill’s go-to option during a remarkably successful period.

Parkinson wanted extra competition for Charlie Wyke and is likely to try and recruit another forward option before the window shuts.