Sunderland remain without a win in their last nine games in all competitions after they were held by struggling Bolton Wanderers at The Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.
Phil Parkinson would have been keen to get one over his former side on the day, but they struggled take their chances in front of goal, having been kept out on numerous occasions by Remi Matthews in the Bolton goal.
The Black Cats dominated the game in terms of statistics, which will make the draw even more irritating to take into their next game against Doncaster Rovers on Sunday.
You would imagine that the pressure is growing on Parkinson in charge of Sunderland, with the 52-year-old only having two wins to his name since being appointed as Jack Ross’ successor earlier this season.
But Sunderland are now sat 15th in the League One table, and will know that results simply have to improve in the near future if they’re to stand any chance of winning promotion back into the Championship.
We look at THREE things we learnt about Sunderland following this frustrating draw with the Trotters.
A change of shape might be needed.
Parkinson has stuck with the defensive five for a number of weeks now, but he could be tempted to change his formation in search of finding a much-needed win.
Luke O’Nien and Denver Hume have operated at full-back recently and have been rare bright sparks, but you have to feel as though he needs to be bolder in his team selection if they’re to claw themselves back up the League One standings in the near future.
Confidence in this group of players is extremely low.
Sunderland had 19 shots in total against Bolton, but failed to beat Remi Matthews in the Bolton goal, which would have bene hugely frustrating.
A large number of the current group of players were part of the squad that narrowly missed out on promotion into the Championship last term, so it’s clear to see that confidence is low at the moment.
But they can’t afford to mope around any longer, as they’re slipping down the League One table at a quite alarming rate, so they need to find wins – and fast.
Parkinson’s days are numbered at Sunderland.
Parkinson arrived at The Stadium of Light with high hopes, but he couldn’t have wished for a much more disappointing start to life in charge of the Black Cats.
He’s won just two games since taking charge of Sunderland, and with his side sat 15th in the League One table, it simply isn’t acceptable.
A club with the stature of Sunderland have the ability to be challenging for top-spot in the third tier, but for one reason or another, Parkinson isn’t getting the best out of this group of players.
Something needs to change, and Parkinson’s days are numbered if they continue to struggle.
Can you remember the outcome of Sunderland’s last 16 Boxing Day matches? Test your knowledge in our quiz!