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Fan Letters: How much praise does Phil Parkinson deserve for Sunderland’s change in fortunes?

RR reader Ryan is full of praise for Phil Parkinson, who he says “has had a strategy from day one”. Just how much credit does the Sunderland manager deserve for the way we’re playing right now? Email:!

Sunderland v Doncaster Rovers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Sunderland’s timely winning and clean sheet record has not come about over night. Phil Parkinson has had a strategy from day one, albeit not actually getting put into practice until recently. He has instilled a ‘do or die’ mindset and with the group of players we have, he’s absolutely nailed it.

Evident in last night’s game, when Luke O’Nien was up the pitch. His position wasn’t left empty, Maguire ran back and played right back until O’Nien regained his position. We finally have a team who are playing for eachother, knowing that if they’re found out of position, Max Power or Bailey Wright will be there to sweep up.

Every game is now played as a relegation battle, played as if we lose, then that’s our fate sealed. It’s amazing to see! The players should be commended for this but the overall praise should lay on PP. It’s nice to be able to look forward to game day expecting a win, rather than worry for a draw.

Ryan Brindley

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I can’t disagree, Ryan - Parkinson has done a good job so far. I’m still not too happy with our form in his first two months but it was clear that he was shoring us up in order to give us a better finish to the season. Our fitness has improved, we’ve got rid of players who weren’t contributing, and he’s settled on a starting eleven that he trusts in.

Whether it will be enough remains to be seen. Four other teams in the league have hit promotion form as well as ourselves, so we cannot afford any slips.

Sunderland v Rochdale - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Congratulations fellas on the podcast. I would honestly go as far as saying this is the best one you’ve ever done. one of the guests made the point how players and managers come and go but we’ll still be here and that summed it all up what the weekend was about. thank you for all your tireless work in keeping everyone entertained with so many pods. a special shout out to the 2 lads who spoke with George. an absolutely beautiful moment to hear how much he loves the club. and it’s nice to hear the not so angry lad in a presenting role! it suits him and the bit where he said we should never take for granted how lucky we are to have this club was excellent. well done to everyone else who took part. I look forward to the rest of this weeks podcasts.

Keep up the good work.

Charles Mason

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Thanks for the kind words Charles. I’d agree with all of that and go as far as to say that it was the most enjoyable podcast I’ve been a part of. We had plenty to drink, got to meet some amazing people with amazing stories, and chatted with Sunderland royalty in George Forster, Bobby Kerr and Micky Horswill. What’s not to love?

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