PHIL PARKINSON was delighted with his Sunderland players’ resilience after they shrugged off the disappointment of their midweek Carabao Cup exit with a hard-fought home win over Southend United.

Luke O’Nien settled things with a first-half header as the Black Cats ground out a 1-0 win that took them to within a point of the play-off places in League One.

Parkinson is still waiting for his first away victory as Sunderland boss, but his two home matches have resulted in back-to-back wins over Tranmere and Southend.

Parkinson said: “I’m very pleased. We’ve had two long trips on the road, and maybe we weren’t at our sharpest for the whole game, but in patches we were good.

“It’s important when you are not quite at your best you get the result. We showed good resilience and we should have scored more, although some of our crossing was not as good as we like.

“It’s an important win for us, with the possibility of not having a league game for a while (because of international call-ups). Everybody knew it was important to get the result.”

Parkinson reserved special praise for O’Nien, who is evolving into an effective attacking midfielder after spending much of his time under Jack Ross playing at full-back.

He said: “Luke is a terrific player. The most important thing is he is great in both boxes, and that is where the game is won or lost.

“That goal, I am looking forward to watching it again with a glass of wine. It was a terrific header, a great cross, and I am very pleased for him.”

The Sunderland boss was also impressed with Denver Hume’s display, with the full-back linking effectively with Aiden McGeady in the first half in particular.

He said: “Him (Hume) and MCGeady in the opening 25 minutes were almost unplayable. Denver has grown in confidence, he has great legs and energy, when he faces players at one vs one you expect him to go past and deliver. He created a goal today, it will do him the world of good.”

Sunderland’s next two games are in cup competitions – they host Leicester City Under-21s in the Trophy on Tuesday before entertaining Gillingham in the first round of the FA Cup in seven days’ time – but there is a good chance the planned league game at Bristol Rovers on November 16 will be postponed because of international commitments.

Parkinson said: “We have to wait and see who is called up officially. The problem we have is the goalkeeping situation - we have to asses Burgey (Lee Burge).

“We don’t want to go into the game weakened and give them the advantage, so with that in mind, it was so crucial to get this win.”