PHIL PARKINSON is hoping the injury that forced Callum McFadzean out of tonight’s Papa John’s trophy defeat at Fleetwood Town is not too serious.

Having opened the scoring with a deflected strike in the first half, McFadzean went down clutching his hamstrings after the interval.

His inability to track back led to Mark Duffy scoring Fleetwood’s winner, and he was unable to continue as he hobbled off the pitch.

Parkinson was preparing to replace the wing-back moments before he went down injured, and the Sunderland boss is keeping his fingers cross that the damage is not too severe.

He said: “It doesn't look too bad.  Even with the injuries, I was about to bring him off and so I was so frustrated when he went down. 

“I think and hope it's just a bit of spasm in there as I thought he was tremendous and gave us a real creative spark down the left.

“He got us that goal and then when he had to go into left sided centre-back, I thought he was excellent there as well. 

“I just keep my fingers crossed tonight that's not too bad, because he's had a really good start to my Sunderland career.”

While Sunderland’s defeat means they will have to play away from home in the first knockout round of the Papa John’s Trophy, Parkinson was delighted with his young side’s efforts in the first half in particular.

As well as scoring through McFadzean’s low drive, the Black Cats also hit the woodwork on three separate occasions before the break.

Parkinson said: “The first 45 was excellent. I was so pleased with the way we played, there were so many positives. 

“The injuries have just derailed us a bit, and meant that some of the lads we wanted to bring off to protect them have had to stay on. 

“We just became a bit disjointed but I don't want to take from what were some very, very good performances both individually and collectively in the first half. 

“We’ve hit the woodwork three times and should be out of sight. It was an excellent exercise for us in a competition we'd already secured progression from. 

“I'm taking great heart from some of those performances. There's lessons to learn, as well. 

“At the start of the second half there was always going to be a response from Fleetwood, and we became a little bit slower on the ball than we had been. 

“In general, I just think we lost our way in that period where we have had to constantly reshuffle the pack.”