Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has the full backing of the club and looks likely to keep his job even if an early curtailment of the season sees the Black Cats miss out on promotion this term, according to the Sunderland Echo.
Parkinson took charge of the club in October and had a very shaky start – winning just twice in his first 14 matches.
His fortunes improved, however, and the Black Cats were battling near the top of League One before a four-game winless run between February and March saw them head into the EFL delay in seventh.
According to The Athletic, the EFL is set to curtail the League One and League Two seasons this week and will give clubs the chance to vote on how the 2019/20 campaign is decided.
It is understood that a weighted points-per-game system is the favourite, which will likely mean Sunderland miss out on promotion.
In a Q&A for the Sunderland Echo, Phil Smith revealed that Parkinson has the backing of the club even though it appears they will be playing in League One again next term.
He said: “He appears to have absolute backing of the hierarchy and I suspect they would point to the vastly improved record since Christmas as evidence that he could win promotion over a full season. ”
Smith added that the drop in form ahead of the delay looks like it could be costly for the Black Cats.
He explained: “That significant dip in the last four games before the postponement, however, increasingly looks as if it could be one of the most significant stretches of results in a long time.
“If any kind of ‘sporting merit’ solution is used to settle tables, it will probably be the difference between promotion and a third season in League One.”
Can you remember which Sunderland manager signed each of these 15 players? Have a go now!
It appears Parkinson’s place at Sunderland remains safe, even if the season is curtailed by the EFL and the Black Cats miss out on promotion.
The 52-year-old’s time at the Stadium of Light has been up and down so far but he will likely fancy his chances of helping them climb out of League One in 2020/21 with another transfer window and a full pre-season.
The club’s stance on Parkinson may change should new owners be found, of course.