This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way…
Phil Parkinson certainly didn’t get off to the best of the starts with Sunderland, after he took over first-team matters from Jack Ross, who was dismissed after a poor start to the 2019/20 season.
The Black Cats would have been expected to win a timely promotion back into the Championship this term, after they were beaten by Charlton Athletic in the 2018/19 League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Parkinson only won twice in his opening 13 games in all competitions though, which saw Sunderland struggling in their quest to win promotion.
But on Boxing Day in 2019, they hosted relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light, in what would have been the perfect opportunity to pick up a much-needed three points against a Trotters side that were struggling for confidence.
However, Sunderland couldn’t break them down on the day, and they were forced to settle for a point, much to the frustration of the club’s supporters.
We take a look at the best of the reaction from Twitter at the time, and it’s safe to say that the majority of supporters were wrong to call for Parkinson to be dismissed.
— ….. (@Liam95379571) December 26, 2019
Sack him or i’m calling the police
— antony. (@antoneee_x) December 26, 2019
5 at the back against the bottom side. What a joke. Get parky out now.
— James (@jxmes123) December 26, 2019
Stewart Donald is killing our club
— Jamie Davison (@jamie_davison1) December 26, 2019
Thanks for this. Ruined. My. Christmas.
— Carys English (@CarysEnglish) December 26, 2019
— JoeBurrow’sPetiteHands (@Bunney_91) December 26, 2019
Sack him. And then Donald resign
— Hudson (@huds8118) December 26, 2019
Get him out #getparkygone
— Martyn Herron (@martynherron) December 26, 2019
Official Statement after this or we boycott
— Harry Eddowes (@harryeddowes) December 26, 2019
Just so happy I didn’t go today. We are a joke.
— E-Sunderland (@e_sunderland) December 26, 2019
But Sunderland opted to keep Parkinson in charge for the future, and it’s safe to say that he has silenced some of his doubters as the season has progressed.
The Black Cats now find themselves sat seventh in the League One table, and they’ll be hoping they can force themselves into the play-off positions before the season reaches a conclusion.
Sunderland only lost once in 13 games after that stalemate against Bolton, which saw them move into contention for promotion back into the Championship.
They are currently winless in their last four league games though, and Parkinson will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways when they return to action later this year.
Sunderland are just three points adrift of second-placed Rotherham United in the League One table still though, and it’s set to be a closely-fought, but enthralling battle for promotion this season.
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