SUNDERLAND’S goalkeeping position is up for grabs, with Phil Parkinson claiming all three of the club’s shot-stoppers are in the running for the number one spot.

Lee Burge started the season between the posts and got the nod for the opening ten league games, but found himself demoted to the substitutes’ bench for last weekend’s defeat to MK Dons.

Remi Matthews started as Sunderland slipped to a 2-1 loss seven days ago, and performed creditably despite the final outcome. As a result, there is a chance he will retain his place in the side when the Black Cats head to Doncaster this afternoon.

Youngster Anthony Patterson made his senior debut in this month’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat at Fleetwood Town, and Parkinson has challenged all three of his goalkeepers to play their way into the team.

“My thoughts behind last week were that Remi had done well in the game prior to that (against Mansfield in the FA Cup), and Burgey had been carrying a slight problem with his ankle, which was affecting his kicking. So, we went with Remi.

“Do you then say Remi is your number one? That’s not really the case because I feel we’ve got three good goalkeepers at the club. I want competition, and I think rather than saying one keeper is categorically the number one and the other one is happy to play the role of number two, I want the two-stroke-three keepers to all believe they can get in that team. That’s what I feel we’ve got and it’s good competition.”

Patterson is the least experienced of the three keepers, but Parkinson is adamant the 20-year-old is now a fully-fledged member of the first-team group.

“Anthony came in against Fleetwood and showed what we know he can do because he’s played so well in the Under-23s,” he said. “He trains with the first team every day and he’s pushing hard.”

Sunderland (probable, 3-5-2): Matthews; McLaughlin, Wright, Flanagan; O’Nien, Scowen, Leadbitter, Gooch, Hume; Maguire, Wyke.