Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has paid tribute to Phil Parkinson for the positive influence he has had at the club since his appointment as manager at the Stadium of Light.
Parkinson was appointed Sunderland manager back in October following the sacking of Jack Ross, and after a slow start to his time in charge, recently embarked on a run of just one defeat in 14 league games to propel themselves into contention for League One promotion.
A run of four games without a win has now seen Sunderland drop back out of the play-off places on goal difference, although Phillips still believes that Parkinson impact at Sunderland has been a positive one overall.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo about Parkinson’s time at Sunderland so far, Phillips said: “It’s been an incredible turnaround from Phil’s point of view.
“When he first came in it was difficult, and whoever came in at that time it would have been difficult to come in and pick the reins up with the pressure and the expectation.”
Assessing the reasons behind Sunderland’s recent improvement in fortunes under Parkinson, Phillips went on to claim: “Phil’s experience had paid off and he was patient, and now the club are bearing the fruits of his experience of managing in this league.”
Parkinson does deserve plenty of credit for what he has done at Sunderland so far.
The 52-year-old’s appointment had been met with a good deal of scrutiny following his recent struggles at Bolton, which put him under pressure right from his arrival at the Stadium of Light.
That will not have been helped by that poor start to his time at the club that he endured, which at the time was simply not good enough, and it was hard to see him giving Sunderland the lift they needed to get into the promotion race.
As a result, the fact he has been able to bring about that upturn in fortunes is all the more impressive, and you have to feel that that change has to give Parkinson and co. confidence that they can pick up the results they need between now and the remainder of the season.