Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider that he wouldn’t be surprised if Sunderland sacked Lee Johnson this summer.
The Black Cats fell short in the promotion race once again in Sky Bet League One as they lost their play-off semi final on aggregate to Lincoln City over two legs.
As a result of this, the North East outfit are set to spend a fourth consecutive campaign in the third division, which is something that hasn’t gone down well with their ever expectant fanbase.
The pressure has increased on Johnson as a result, with Football League World exclusively revealing that the club are said to be considering removing the 39-year-old from his position as manager after the team’s recent shortcomings.
Now, Phillips has had his say on the situation and was quick to state the following about the former Bristol City boss:
“Straight after the game I would have said Lee Johnson is not the right person to take the club forward, like a typical supporter.
“I saw the videos of the crowd surrounding him outside the stadium and that is just an immediate reaction to the disappointment.
Can you name the Sunderland player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
“Now the dust has settled you think who is going to come in and do something better? They have tried so many different managers so why pull the trigger again?
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he did go given that the club is under new ownership.
“I fully back Lee Johnson to be in charge next season though, if they keep hold of him. I just hope they give him money to spend. He is going to need to bring a few players in, it is going to be a big summer.”
The club’s owner, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has seemingly given his backing to Johnson in recent days during an interview with Talksport, with the young chairman stating that he has given the manager his full backing to get Sunderland promoted next term.
I don’t think Sunderland will sack Johnson but if he does start the upcoming campaign in poor fashion, I can see his time in the North East being short lived.
He is still very much a bright young coach and I think the expectations at the Stadium of Light are higher than ever after missing out on promotion once again.
It will be tough for him to get the players up for another promotion charge after missing out in such cruel circumstances and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that we have seen certain players depart recently.
Getting his recruitment this summer will hold the key to further success and more importantly to securing his long term future with the club.