Sunderland lost to Oxford United on penalties last night after a 1-1 draw in normal time to go out of the Carabao Cup at the Fourth Round stage.
Strikers Mark McNulty and Will Grigg both failed to find the net from twelve yards to give the U’s a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory and leave the Black Cats frustrated and disappointed.
It was another chapter in a sorry tale for Grigg, who’s failed to find his feet on Wearside following his £4 million move from Wigan almost a year ago. Signed to fire the Lads back to the Championship, the Northern Ireland international has scored only eight goals in forty appearances across all competitions, and he’s cutting an increasingly dejected figure on the pitch, much to the annoyance of a famously unforgiving fan base.
New boss Phil Parkinson discussed the striker’s woes after the match, stating that he was confident he could get the best out of the twenty-eight-year-old but urged Grigg to show more belief and also claimed fans were still supportive of their misfiring hitman. Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, he said: ‘It’s got to come from within as well.’
‘The supporters are right behind him as well, have given him terrific support and he’s got to believe and play with a bit more conviction.’
‘We know he’s a terrific player; he’s got all the attributes we need, and he will start showing it.’
On the penalty miss, which evoked memories of Steve Waddle’s famous effort in Italia 90, Parkinson said the disappointment was the striker failed to test the Oxford keeper. ‘He’s not the first one to miss a penalty, but we are frustrated that he didn’t make the keeper work at the very least.’
Grigg’s performance and subsequent failure from the spot did not go down well with many Sunderland fans frustrated at the former Wigan man’s continued poor displays and what some perceive to be a bad attitude.
The reaction from plenty of supporters on social media also seems to contradict Parkinson’s opinion that the fans are still behind him.
Here is a selection of posts made after the defeat on Twitter from Sunderland supporters on the subject of Grigg, and they will not make happy reading for either Parkinson or the forward.
Grigg is the biggest disgrace to ever wear the shirt. Worse than Rodwell, Bodji & N’dong. Mean it anarl. The lad doesn’t give one shite.
— Ryan (@P_ryan_h) October 29, 2019
Not one person with eyesight on earth thought Grigg would score that pen. He can’t be bothered with anything ever
— Glen Anderson (@GlenAnderson_) October 29, 2019
Kimpioka has potential. Grigg has none. Work on Kimpioka and try get him a new contract. At the very least he has a potential sell on fee!
— Steve Parkinson 🇬🇧 (@SteveP1986) October 30, 2019
Grigg looks as if he’s in a real unhappy place on pitch. I’d try offload him & get another in for sake of both player and club in Jan. Looks more like 300K FWD rather than 3-4 mill one. Shame as he has ability but just wrong fit. Would have to take a big loss on him though #safc
— Stephen Elliott (@SleevesElliott) October 29, 2019
oh please get will grigg out of my club immediately.
— bekah 🦋 (@bekahayre) October 29, 2019
Is Will Grigg doing this on purpose?
Nobody could be that shit if they tried. Look at that penalty!!! You’ll not see better at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.
— Costa Blanca Pete (@peterjnixon) October 29, 2019
Parky 4 games 3 losses..Will the new Danny Graham too unfortunately. We DON'T have time for another to turn it round. Now u know Ross nedded 3 yrs..& would have had us flying he worked hard & half way there & we dump him.
— Dave Keating (@DavidKeating22) October 30, 2019
Will Grigg is dire
Passing planes are petrified
— Tim Robinson (@SmokeyTimRobbo) October 29, 2019
He's devoid of confidence ya weapon
— Jay Hart (@JayHartWheeler) October 29, 2019
Don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look less confident walking up to take a PK. Don’t know what’s going on with him but his confidence is clearly shot to bits.
— Scott (@ScottDuffman) October 29, 2019
He's had plenty of time to get his confidence. He needs to go
— Karen Howes🍊 (@KarenHowes5) October 29, 2019