New Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has told fans that he is determined to produce a side that will make them proud.
Parkinson took charge at the Stadium of Light yesterday, a week and a half after Jack Ross had his contract terminated by the North East club.
Sunderland did not play during the international break and have slipped down to ninth in League One, trailing league leaders Ipswich Town by eight points.
Is Phil Parkinson the right man for the job?
The Black Cats appear to still be carrying a hangover from their last-minute play-off final loss at the hands of Charlton Athletic in May and have been underwhelming this season.
It appears the new boss is determined to change that and, speaking to the club website, Parkinson told fans he wanted to build a side that they would be proud of.
He said: “I think myself and the players have got to expect that and prepare to deal with it.
“That is the expectation of being at a club the size and the stature of Sunderland. We have got to use the supporters to our advantage.
“They travel away in numbers and the attendances are fantastic at home games. We have got to use that to inspire us.
“Ultimately, we have got to send the supporters home and into work on Monday with three points they can be proud of.
“We have got no divine right to win games and we know we have to earn every single point along the way.”
The 51-year-old will have his first chance to impress Sunderland fans on Saturday when his side face second-place Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.
A win for the Black Cats could see them climb as high as third place, should results elsewhere got their way.
It could be a difficult afternoon for Parkinson as Sunderland are yet to keep a league clean sheet and the Chairboys are the third-highest scorers in the division.
These comments should be really encouraging for Sunderland supporters. Ross lost the supporters in part because of his frustrating style of football and it appears their new boss is determined to stay in their good books.
From the reaction on Twitter, it appears Parkinson was not first choice for a lot of Black Cats fans but he has a great record of getting sides promoted, having done so with Colchester United, Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers, so they need to give him a chance.
It will be a really difficult test up first but it would be a real statement if the new Sunderland boss can beat Wycombe in his first game.