This is why Duncan Watmore wasn't involved for Sunderland at Bristol Rovers

Duncan Watmore is a doubt for Sunderland’s trip to Blackpool this weekend as he recovers from a sickness bug.

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 12:44 pm
Antoine Semenyo in Sunderland action

Charlie Wyke returned to the squad on Tuesday night for the 2-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium but Watmore’s absence meant that Will Grigg retained his place on the bench.

Grigg came on the 87th minute for his first appearance since the 1-1 draw with Blackpool midway through December.

“Duncan was out due to illness,” Parkinson said.

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“He's had a sickness bug.

“We're not sure yet whether he'll be fit for the weekend.”The evening was a significant one in that Parkinson made some significant personnel changes for the first time since Sunderland’s form began to turn just before the new year.

George Dobson and Lynden Gooch dropped to the bench as Antoine Semenyo and Josh Scowen were given their full debuts.

Neither were able to make a major impression, but Parkinson said he was relatively pleased with their contributions.

It leaves him with a number of decisions to ponder as his team’s winless run extended to four games and saw them drop out of the top six.

“First of all, I feel a bit sorry for those lads because I thought they came in and did alright,” he said.

“They've waited patiently for the chance and I just wanted to get some freshness into the team tonight.

“That was my gut feeling and I certainly don't think that contributed to the defeat, I thought those two did alright.”