RR: What do Bolton fans think of Phil Parkinson?
LOVS: He’s well respected by the majority of Bolton Wanderers fans. His first two seasons were great. To get us promoted to The Championship at the first time of asking and then to keep us up the following year, all whilst being under a transfer embargo, was remarkable.
His last season was disappointing. A mixture of poor results and an awful brand of football meant many fans were calling for his head. Although, off field issues took a toll on matters on the pitch. The way he conducted himself during the final months of administration ensure he’ll be fondly remembered.
RR: What style of football does he play? Would it excite Sunderland supporters?
LOVS: He plays a brand of football that whilst not necessarily being eye catching, is effective, especially in League One. At Bolton, he favoured a 4-2-3-1, playing to the strengths of a target man as the focal point of attack.
RR: Parkinson managed Bolton under some challenging circumstances. Do you think he’d be able to manage the expectations of a club like Sunderland?
LOVS: Absolutely. He had to deal with a transfer embargo and still managed to drag us to promotion. He only signed one player for cash during his three year with us, so with a budget in place I’m sure he could do the job.
RR: What kind of manager is Phil?
LOVS: One who says it how it is.
RR: Is he an ‘arm round the shoulder’ type? Disciplinarian? Bit of everything?
LOVS: He’s probably a mixture of the two. A fantastic motivator!
RR: One of the criticisms levelled at the previous manager was that he wasn’t charismatic enough and, ultimately, we saw the relationship between the fans and the gaffer deteriorate slowly. Sunderland need someone that will come in and lift the place immediately, bringing everyone back together. Is Parkinson capable of having that kind of effect? Did he ever do something similar at Bolton?
LOVS: Certainly at the beginning of his tenure, he lifted the spirits around the club. Many of the players who were responsible for our awful relegation remained (Likes of David Wheater, Jay Spearing) & he was able to turn fans opinions of them.
He brought a real good feeling to the club when the season prior had been such a disaster.
RR: What would you say to any Sunderland fan who isn’t sure that Phil Parkinson would be a good enough manager for us?
LOVS: He may not seem like a fashionable choice, though you can’t deny he has the right experience to get a job done in this division. He got Colchester promoted and us promoted despite a transfer embargo. There aren’t many managers with his CV free and available.
Whether he’s the right man after promotion is a decision for another day.
But if you’re looking for promotion, Phil Parkinson deserves the chance to do it.