Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has this message for his misfiring strikers

Phil Parkinson says he has no doubt that his Sunderland strikers will produce the goals required this season.

The Black Cats were left to rue some gilt-edged chances that went begging in the first half at the Valley, settling for a 0-0 draw after Tom Flanagan saw red with just under 20 minutes to play.

Parkinson said he had no complaints with that decision, as Connor Washington burst through on goal before being tripped by the Sunderland defender.

That came from a rare defensive lapse, with the away side dominant for large parts of the contest.

Danny Graham misses a big chance to put Sunderland ahead at The Valley

Both Aiden O’Brien and Danny Graham should have got on the scoresheet in the first half, while substitute Charlie Wyke also missed a chance late in the contest.

Sunderland did come up against a goalkeeper in-form, with Ben Amos making one outstanding stop from Bailey Wright in the first half.

Parkinson was pleased with much of his team’s play, and says the clinical edge was the only thing missing.

He’s confident the options he has at his disposal will be able to deliver it in the next stages of the season.

“Some of the football today was excellent, the way we switched play and made the pitch big in possession, the overloads we created in wide area,” Parkinson said.

“It was exactly what we need to do in this system, we felt we were more dynamic in the first half than we were against Peterborough.

“We stepped in quicker with the ball, but the life of a striker is you’ve got to keep getting in the six-yard box.

“It looked a threatening partnership up top.

“They should link up well because one’s a good hold-up player and one likes to get in behind and runs the channels well,” Parkinson added.

“It’s just that final moment lacking today and we should be talking about an excellent performance. You’ll miss chances, but then you’ve got to be brave and keep getting in those positions, and I believe we’ve got strikers who are.

“If they do that, and we keep producing those chances, I’m confident we’ll get goals.

“I’m sure they’ll take those chances.”

Parkinson praised his side for their defensive resilience in the closing stages.

Lee Bowyer has endured a difficult summer and with his options limited, had named a starting XI mixed with inexperienced youngsters and players still working their way towards match fitness.

Flanagan’s red had worked to their advantage, allowing the lively substitute Chuks Aneke to threaten.

Bowyer also threw on Marcus Maddison for the closing stages, but in truth the Black Cats held out comfortably.

“I’m very pleased with the resilience we showed with ten men, particularly as Charlton brought on some good attacking players,” Parkinson said.

“I’m pleased with the work ethic of the group, even if we’ve got to be clinical.

“All in all, it was a decent performance from us.

“We know we should be talking about three points but if you can’t get three, make sure you get on the coach with something.”