Phil Parkinson reveals who is to thank as Sunderland clinch their top summer target

Phil Parkinson has paid tribute to the backing of the club after Sunderland landed the signature of Bailey Wright.

Bailey Wright has penned a permanent deal with Sunderland
Bailey Wright has penned a permanent deal with Sunderland

The Australian international was a top summer target for Parkinson after he impressed during a loan spell from Bristol City last season.

Injury restricted Wright to only five appearances, but they were enough to make a mark on the Sunderland faithful – who were keen to see the centre back put pen to paper on a permanent deal at the Stadium of Light after he was released by Bristol City this summer.

The Black Cats kept four clean sheets in the five games in which Wright featured during a distinctly improved run of form following the turn of the year.

And having fought off competition from elsewhere, Sunderland have now tied-down Wright to a two-year deal on Wearside.

Wright says that the belief that the Black Cats are heading in the ‘right direction’ was a key factor behind his decision.

“It feels really good to get the deal done and I just can’t wait to get up to the North East and join the squad,” said Wright.

"Although I only worked with the manager for a short spell, I really enjoyed the structure and discipline of the team. He expects his players to give everything on the pitch and be good people, and we have that culture within the dressing room.

“We are heading in the right direction and I’m very confident we can achieve our ambitions next season.”

Manager Phil Parkinson added: “I’m delighted to have signed Bailey. He’s a very good player, but he’s also an excellent character and leader.

"He’s a really important signing for us and because of his quality, there was plenty of competition for his signature, so I’d like to credit the owner and Jim Rodwell for getting the deal over the line.”

Wright will return to pre-season training with the Sunderland squad in the coming weeks after undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine after recently holidaying in Ibiza.