'I felt for him': Ex-Cats legend delivers respectful Phil Parkinson verdict and comments on Sunderland 'destiny'

An ex-Sunderland goalscoring legend has delivered a respectful verdict on Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 am
BIRMINGHAM - DECEMBER 21: Kevin Phillips of Sunderland celebrates the equaliser during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland at The Hawthornes, West Bromwich, Birmingham, on December 21, 2002. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Former striker Kevin Phillips was heavily linked with the top job at the Stadium of Light before Parkinson was appointed – openly admitting he was interested in the role.

The ex-Bradford City manager endured a horrific opening 14 games in charge of the Black Cats, winning just two. That prompted Sunderland supporters to chant in favour fan-favourite Phillips during a Boxing Day draw at home to Bolton.

"The coaching hat, the professional hat, goes on and if I was Phil Parkinson, it wouldn't be nice to hear,” Phillips explained to The Athletic. "I felt for him; the last thing the Sunderland manager needs is an ex-pro sticking his oar in. It's mixed emotions.

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"It's nice to know I'm being sung about but at the same time, watching them suffer is so hard.”

However, the legendary striker still believes he will one day land his dream role on Wearside.

"Is it destiny? It would like a fairytale for me, put it that way.

"I wouldn't want to just be given the job because of what I did there, but I've got experience of coaching, of life, of pressure, because as a striker you have to perform, score goals.

"And you can surround yourself with experience if that's what you want to do, although I'm not sure that's necessarily the answer. Different eyes bring a different view, a different angle to it: have a go that way."