When you sack a manager whilst sitting in sixth position it can only be for one purpose - to finish in the top two. It was clear by the end Jack Ross had to go.
Despite the performance levels, results weren’t disastrous, and we just needed that extra push to propel us from play-off hopefuls to promotion favourites.
When you make a decision like that however, you don’t get a free hit as you might if you’re 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table for example - you get one shot and you have to make it count - and I don’t think we did.
Like many other supporters, Phil Parkinson would not have been my choice. His CV was mixed - he achieved good things at Colchester United and Bradford City, spells at Charlton Athletic and Hull City ended in failure whilst his time at Bolton Wanderers was a mixed bag. His CV, combined with a reputation for a style of football that I’m not a particular fan of, had him a fair way down on my list.
However, all the options available seemed to have similar issues, and it wasn’t necessarily my biggest issue with the appointment. At the time when the club needed a big character, a shot of adrenaline, someone to pick us up by the scruff of the neck and drag us into that top two by sheer force of will - we went with Phil Parkinson.
To be fair, there aren’t many of these characters around but the facts remain that the club was flat when Jack Ross was sacked and the club was left feeling deflated immediately after Parkinson’s appointment.
Good results might have done the trick for Parkinson but results so far have been woeful. Even putting results aside, the players don’t seem to have responded to him in any way shape or form, and the squad looks as fractured as it was 18 months ago.
I think he’s been fighting a losing battle from the day he was appointed, but I’m more than willing to give him a crack at it - but not at the expense of giving up on any aspiration to go up this season. It’s too important.
I’d have given him until after the January transfer window, but with results as they are I don’t think he’s coming back, as far as the fans are concerned, if we don’t get 4-6 points in the next two home games. He will then be in a similar position to where Ross was at the end, where his job becomes almost untenable.
I can’t see Parkinson getting it right at Sunderland. I hope he proves me wrong, but if the next two games do not provide points and we’re losing touch of the top six at the beginning of December, I think it’s a change worth making to salvage our season.
The issue is, for a reason I can’t understand (and I hope there're clauses), instead of offering him a contract until the end of the season we gave him a two and a half year deal.
It’s another huge call for the owners that I don’t think they’ll make. My money will be on Phil Parkinson being still in the position of Sunderland manager at the end of the season.