This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland suffered their third successive defeat in all competitions at the weekend, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against the MK Dons at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats are now sat sixth in the League One table, and are four points adrift of league-leaders Peterborough United after their opening 11 matches in this year’s campaign.
The defeat to the MK Dons will be tough to take for the Sunderland supporters, as they had high hopes for their side heading into the 2020/21 season, after missing out on a top-six finish last term in the third-tier.
You only have to look at the responses from the Stadium of Light faithful at full-time to see that the pressure is firmly on Phil Parkinson after this poor run of results.
But should the Black Cats be looking at parting company with the former Bolton Wanderers boss after this poor run of form?
Sunderland will always be one of the tougher jobs in the third tier, with expectations only sure to be on the rise with the new takeover having taken place at the Stadium of Light.
Parkinson will be under no illusions that the board will be expecting to see a change of results, otherwise he could well be facing his marching orders in the not so distant future.
With games to come against the likes of Doncaster and Fleetwood, the Black Cats could have their work cut out as they seek to turn things around, with both of their upcoming opponents having started the season well.
Only time will tell if the under pressure boss can meet these lofty expectations in the North East – with the club sure to be targeting an automatic promotion spot at the very least after missing out on going up in previous seasons.
I think he’s up against it.
Sunderland have actually had a good start compared to a lot of previous years in terms of points but, in fairness, they should be perhaps higher than they are even with that in mind.
They’ve thrown in some silly results again and in front of goal there’s still work to be done. That’s not necessarily Parkinson’s fault, he can’t put the ball in the net for his forwards, but I do see overall that their approach to games is frustrating a lot of supporters who’d not mind that as much if results like the MK Dons one weren’t happening.
I don’t see him going just yet but the fans’ voices can be heard despite the lack of supporters in attendance and he’ll need to go on a good run quickly before the writing is on the wall.
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Let’s be honest, three straight defeats doesn’t look great for Parkinson, but only one of those came in League One – whilst Sunderland are still well-placed in the standings in sixth.
Given his failure to get Sunderland promoted last season, pressure on Parkinson is a given, but sacking him when they’re just three points off second would be crazy.
If their poor form continues then a decision might have to be made, but Parkinson deserves more time to turn things around.