'Got to make a change!': Sunderland legends have a message for Stewart Donald after 'horrendous' defeat

Former Sunderland stars Gary Bennett and Stephen Elliott have delivered a brutal verdict on Sunderland's defeat at Gillingham - and the future of Phil Parkinson.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 2:15 pm
Stephen Elliott has a message for Sunderland chief Stewart Donald
Stephen Elliott has a message for Sunderland chief Stewart Donald

Connor Ogilvie's late winner sentenced the Black Cats to another reverse on the road, and leaves Phil Parkinson still looking for a first win on the road.

And while the Black Cats were arguably unlucky not to take a point from the trip to Priestfield, after seeing a late Charlie Wyke strike controversially disallowed, Bennett believes the performances must improve in the coming weeks.

Indeed, the former centre back claimed that the style of football on display in Kent was ‘not good enough’ for the travelling Sunderland faithful.

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Speaking to BBC Newcastle in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, the club legend said: "We keep saying things can't get worse, but here we are.

"What direction are we going in? It's not up, that's for sure.

"You look at the supporters over there and they are angry. They're not happy.

"We've spoken numerous times about, okay, getting beat - but it's how you get beat.

"We looked, at times, solid defensively. But still, they've hit the woodwork twice. They've put us under pressure and kept going.

"You look at us going forward - did we want to win the game? I don't think we did.

"Then you look at the bench, the players you've got there, they are your more creative players who can do something.

"That performance, or the style of football that we played today, that's not good enough for Sunderland football club. It's not good enough for the supporters and it's like route one football."

Elliott, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter after the game to express his thoughts.

And the former striker has called on Stewart Donald to make a big decision – and part company with Parkinson after only 12 games in charge.

He too expressed concerns with the style of football on display, as he tweeted: “Got to make a change quick. Horrendous style of football.”