PHIL Parkinson feels Wanderers are ready to take an important step in their survival fight at Sunderland tonight.

Victory at the Stadium of Light will guarantee the Whites will be off the bottom of the Championship for the first time since September 9.

It may also spell trouble for under-fire Black Cats boss Simon Grayson, whose side has won just once since being relegated from the Premier League, and not in front of their own supporters since December LAST YEAR.

“We know there’s a big target in front of us at Sunderland and that’s to get off the bottom of the table,” he told The Bolton News.

“Psychologically a win would be a massive thing for everyone. It has been tough and it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go earlier in the season but there’s a real resilience about the team at the moment.

“We have stayed strong, stuck together, and started to put performances together. Now we need to keep our heads and understand what we need to do to take three points.”

Sunderland still average 27,000-plus fans despite their dismal 2017 but discontent among the locals could play a major part in Wanderers’ gameplan.

“The start is going to be important,” Parkinson admitted. “We know the supporters are agitated and not just this season, but what has been happening for a while.

“There are always factors about the opposition you take into a game but what’s important is that we continue how we have been in the last few weeks.”

Parkinson revealed Andy Taylor’s back injury is not as serious as first thought but that the left-back was undergoing a scan yesterday and was a major doubt for Sunderland.

Antonee Robinson is the most likely deputy – and the Whites boss has every faith he will deliver the goods.

“I’ve got no problem putting him in there at all,” he said. “He gives us a real threat going forward as well, with such energy.”

Filipe Morais (stomach) and Adam Le Fondre (calf) are doubts but Conor Hall has been added to the squad.