Kevin Phillips has exclusively told Football FanCast that he believes Sunderland are “capable” of finishing in the automatic promotion places this season.
Lee Johnson’s team have won six of their previous seven League One matches to move into top-two contention, and have already enjoyed success in the Papa John’s Trophy following Sunday’s victory over Tranmere courtesy of Lynden Gooch’s second-half strike at Wembley.
Sunderland’s impressive recent form has seen them climb to fourth in the third-tier standings, just two points behind second-placed Peterborough United, who currently occupy the second automatic promotion place.
Much of Sunderland’s good results have been down to the goals of Charlie Wyke, whose the League One top scorer with 21, and Phillips reckons that their automatic hopes could rely on the fitness and form of the former Bradford City striker.
He told Football FanCast: “I think they’re hitting form at the right time. My only concern is if they were to lose Charlie [Wyke] or if he was to go off the boil, or if they were to lose [Aiden] McGeady, the two players that have been so influential in this run.
“I think defensively they’re looking fairly solid, Dion Sanderson, whose come in, has looked really strong. From what I’ve seen, they’re capable of finishing in the top-two.”
Sunderland travel to Accrington Stanley on Wednesday evening knowing another three more points could send them into the top-two for the first time since April 2019.