George Forster, Micky Horswill and Gary Bennett react as Phil Parkinson named new Sunderland AFC boss

New Sunderland AFC boss Phil Parkinson will need backing on and off the pitch.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 2:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 6:19 pm

That’s the message from a leading supporter and former players.

Supporters’ Association chairman George Forster said: “He has got a proven track record at this level, so let’s hope he is the right man.

“He probably fits all the things the owners want. All we can do is wish him well.

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Phil Parkinson at his first SAFC press conference
Phil Parkinson at his first SAFC press conference

“It is up to the players to back him, the fans to back him, everybody.

“It is going to be a tough call, going to Wycombe, but if the players really want to play for him, it is up to them to show it by getting a result.

“Then, on Tuesday, I’d like to see us get a 30,000 crowd for the visit of Tranmere.

“It is a big ask, but we really need the supporters to back him.”

George Forster.

FA Cup winner Micky Horswill said it was too early to criticise Parkinson’s lack of experience higher up the league: “Different people have different levels and we don’t know how well he will do if he has never had the chance to manage at a higher level,” he said.

“The big thing is that the crowd has got to get behind him if we are going to get back to where we belong.”

It was inevitable Jack Ross had taken the blame for the team’s stuttering performances but the players needed to accept their part in the situation too: “The players have got to take a bit of responsibility for what has happened,” said Micky.

“They have got to get it into their heads – it is a new era, they have got the best place in the world to be playing, with those supporters in that stadium.

Micky Horswill

“There are very lucky lads to be playing there and they have got to pull their fingers out and show a bit of heart.”

Former Black Cats captain Gary Bennett said the new boss would be judged on one thing and one thing alone – results.

“It’s important everyone gets behind him,” he said.

“Hopefully he can hit the ground running and get results as quickly as possible.”

Gary Bennett