PHIL PARKINSON wants Sunderland to attack the international break with back-to-back away wins to get the race for automatic promotion back on track.

The Black Cats boss, whose side have stuttered to take just two points from the last three games, will take his side to Bristol Rovers tonight and then Blackpool on Saturday.

Rovers are confident of avoiding relegation, despite winning just one of their last 15 League One games. The latest defeat was a 3-1 loss at Southend, who Sunderland travel to after the break.

Sunderland boss Parkinson said: “We have had Rovers watched, we will have a look at how they did against Southend. We will go down there and aim to get the three points.

“We will dust ourselves down, go again. It is always good to have a game straight away after being hurt by how a game finished like we were on Saturday.

“We know we have two big games now on our travels before we have a break. I am confident we can come out of those in good fashion.

“We know Rotherham slipped up but then we drew, so we have missed out in that sense on closing the gap further. But we have to make sure we are ready and we make sure that our draw with Gillingham is actually a good thing.

“We have to iron out the things we weren’t happy with but concentrate on the good elements of our play and take those into Tuesday.”

Parkinson is determined to make sure his Sunderland players are in the right frame of mind to win for the first time in three games.

He said: “The only pressure I ever put on myself or on the team is to get a result or it can create tension. If we deal with them like we dealt with Gillingham for the main part then we are in with a great chance. For us we did half of it on Saturday but we didn’t do some of the physical bits where it mattered in and around the box.”