"Lets give him a chance" and "We are taking a step backwards" - fan's mixed reaction to Sunderland AFC's appointment of Phil Parkinson
There were mixed views on the appointment of Phil Parkinson as the new man in the Stadium of Light hotseat on the streets of Sunderland.
Season ticket holder George Gibson said he was less than impressed with the appointment and would have preferred to see a former manager of arch-rivals Newcastle handed the job: “Chris Hughton would be the man for me.
“He has got the knowledge, he has got the ability,” said 65-year-old George, from Town End Farm.
“I think we are taking a step backwards rather than a step forward. I just think we have got to be more ambitious if we are going to get back to where we want to be in the future.”
Allan and Donna Reed and daughter Leah Allen, 11, are all season ticket holders in the Stadium of Light family zone.
Allan, 37, and 32-year-old Donna are keen to give the new man the benefit of the doubt.
“Let’s give him a go,” said Allan, from Town End Farm.
“He has already got two other teams out of this league – he was at Bolton when they almost went bust, and still got them up.”
Donna urged other fans to give Phil Parkinson a chance: ”I don’t really know much about him, but there’s no reason we can’t give him a go,” she said.
“All the fans are doubting him, saying he is rubbish, but we just need to see what happens.
“He might make a success of it.”
Middlesbrough fan Alan Dawkins was in Sunderland for a show at the Empire and admitted he was a little bemused by the decision to sack the former manager: “I think it was a rash decision, speaking as a neutral,” said the 74-year-old.
“They should have given Jack Ross more of a chance – win two games and they are right back into it.”
But given the decision to get rid of Ross, the club could have done a lot worse than to replace him with Phil Parkinson he said.
“He has got a out of experience,” he added.
Davey Jones was willing to give Parkinson the benefit of the doubt and said the Stadium of Light crowd would do the same.
“He has got to be given a chance,” said Davey, 54, from Hendon.
“He got Bolton up – but Sunderland is a very different thing. We have got a very long way to go.
“The fans will not let him down.”
Kevin Hutchinson was upset his managerial dream team has not been handed the reins – but was willing to trust chairman Stewart Donald.
“I would have gone for Nigel Pearson, with Kevin Phillips as his number two,” he said. “I think there is a bit of a lack of ambition.
“To be fair to the chairman, he has come in and turned the club round compared to the previous owners we have had.
“We had been in a bit of a decline for a while – the football has been nothing to write home about,” said 53-year-old Kevin, from Thorney Close.