Phil Parkinson says Max Power is leading Sunderland's promotion bid in his role as captain - setting the tone for the rest of the Sunderland players.

Power has regularly worn the armband for Sunderland since Parkinson's arrival in October, whenever club captain Grant Leadbitter has been absent.

But in recent weeks the midfielder has really started flourishing in the role, notably leading by example on the pitch. His late equaliser against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday evening was described by Parkinson as 'a captain's intervention' as he clawed back a valuable point for his side.

And Parkinson was full of praise for the 26-year-old and the work he's been doing as captain.

Parkinson said: "Max is very driven. He wants to do well, and I do feel we’ve got a group of lads who are like that.

"I had a good chat with Jordan Willis about that – the players have to drive themselves on and keep improving their standards every day, and obviously on a match day in particular.

"Max is leading that for us, setting the tone in training, which is so important, and I’m very pleased with him. At this time of the season, you need players to produce big moments and Max produced one for us the other night."

Power has been ever-present in the Sunderland side since Parkinson's arrival at the club, forming a midfield-partnership with George Dobson.

And Parkinson has revealed the main trait their pair both possess that has made them so hard to displace.

Parkinson continued: “Max is a good player. You look at him and George [Dobson] in there, and we’ve also got Scowen and Ethan Robson, and Grant is obviously away at the moment.

"Max and George have good athleticism as well, and I think that’s key.

Read More

Sunderland AFC latest news

"Sometimes at this level you get players who are technically good but haven’t got the athleticism, or they're athletic but can’t pass it.

"Those two can do both. I’m pleased with them at the moment, and we’re looking for more from every single player, including those two."