Under-fire Phil Parkinson reveals details of discussions with Sunderland owner Stewart Donald

Phil Parkinson stepped up his preparations for the January window during the clubs’ break from league action and is confident he has the board’s backing to implement long-term changes on Wearside.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

Parkinson has managed 11 games since replacing Jack Ross and has just two wins in that time, with performances worsening in recent weeks.

Supporters chanted ‘sacked in the morning’ towards the end of an insipid defeat to Burton Albion, a game that left Sunderland 11th in the table and a remarkable nine points off the automatic promotion places.

Many fans have called for change but Parkinson says his discussions with the club hierarchy have been about a crucial upcoming window.

The break has also seen Parkinson make another key appointment to his backroom staff, with former Bolton Wanderers defender Andrew Taylor joining as first-team coach.

Parkinson says he understands frustration from the supporters but insists unity is required and says he will find the solutions to get Sunderland back up the table.

“I've had chats with the owner and the other directors in the last week or so, about going forward to January and what we need to do,” he said.

“That's what we're working towards.

“The 10-day period gave us a chance to sit down with Tony Coton and his scouting team, Steve and I have been at games, we were at one on Wednesday night looking at potential players.

“Tony has been to games, we're pooling our information all the time.

“That's what it is all about for us.

“Getting [injured] players back out on the training pitch, which we're pleased with, but looking to improve what we've got in January.

“In any season you have, I can go back either as a player or a manager, I've managed nearly 750 games, even if promotion seasons you have periods where things don't go quite right,” he added.

“You've got to dig deep and find a solution, and to do that you need good people with you and above you.

“You need the staff and supporters to stay with you and we need that right until the end of the season."