New Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has suggested that the fans could play a big part in the Black Cats beating Tranmere Rovers at the Stadium of Light this evening and called for them to help his side.
Parkinson took over at Sunderland last week and saw defeat in his first game in charge, as his side lost 1-0 to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.
That result means the North East club have slipped down to 10th in the League One table, seven points away from the automatic promotion places.
Will Sunderland get promoted this season?
Parkinson gets another chance to claim his first win of the season against Tranmere this evening, in what will be his first home game as Black Cats boss.
The visitors are 19th in the table and have won just once on the road this season, so Sunderland should be confident of grabbing the three points.
Speaking to the club website ahead of the game, Parkinson praised the Black Cats’ fans for their support on the weekend and called for them to help his side once again this evening.
He said: “The supporters were great at the weekend–they got right behind the team. I’m sure the supporters will be right behind us on Tuesday.
“The team includes the supporters–it’s the team on the pitch, the staff and the supporters.
“Everyone who comes in the ground tomorrow has got to help us and play their part in getting us back to winning ways.
“I’m determined to do everything I can to bring success for the supporters, but equally there is a big part for them to play and I’m looking forward to seeing them get right behind the lads.”
A win could see Sunderland climb back into the play-off places, should results elsewhere go their way, and Parkinson is optimistic that promotion was still achievable.
He said: “It’s still achievable–there’s so much of the season left to play. We’ve got no divine right to be there, we’ve got to earn it.
“The name of the club won’t give us three points, it’s what we do in the 90 minutes on a Saturday or Tuesday evening.
“We’ve got to improve the performance level, but I’m confident that we will.”
Even after their fall from grace in recent years, Sunderland have still got an extremely passionate fanbase and its understandable that Parkinson would do all he can to get them and keep them onside.
The best way to do that will be by winning games and the visit of Tranmere this evening is an opportunity he should not be missing out on.
It appears that Parkinson was not first choice for a lot of Sunderland fans, so they will likely have little patience if he keeps losing games.