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ITHICS Fanzine: “Parky can improve Sunderland - the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about!”

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“The next 8-10 games are crucial. If we can put a run together we will start moving up the table, confidence will return, and we will be set up for some positive moves in January” writes Mark Egan of ITHICS Fanzine.

Danny Roberts

Three league games, two defeats.

Phil Parkinson’s ‘dead cat’ effect has been more of a twitch than a bounce. The Tranmere result was extremely encouraging – a thumping win, a clean sheet, five different scorers, and one of them being Will Grigg.

However, the two away defeats tell a more realistic tale of where we stand this season. Comprehensively outplayed by Wycombe is a phrase I never want to use again; and whereas we sounded unlucky at Shrewsbury, we still lost without scoring.

Of course, Phil Parkinson has had zero time to make an impact, so I am not criticising him for where the club now finds itself – the lowest ebb in our 139-year history. He is trying a more attacking approach than Jack Ross was prepared to and that may make a difference, although it’s hard to see sustained improvement unless we use the January window to bring in a striker who can score.

Time and time again we hear that our play in the last third of the pitch wasn’t quite good enough; and at the same time we concede stupid goals.

Should we lose all hope? Well off the pace for promotion, should we shrug and accept that we finish mid-table this year? Perhaps a cup run will console us; or we can smile ruefully at our neighbours as they both slide to relegation; perhaps next year we might aim for the play-offs, depending on who comes down from the Championship?

No. It’s too early to throw in the towel.

This is a tight division and there are loads of points to play for.

Parkinson should be aiming to improve every area of the team by 5-10% and that will help us start finding form. The next 8-10 games are crucial. If we can put a run together we will start moving up the table, confidence will return, and we will be set up for some positive moves in January.

I actually cannot contemplate the alternative. A Sunderland side that can’t even fight for promotion from League One – it just doesn’t bear thinking about.