Phil Parkinson on the style fans can expect his Sunderland team to play in
Phil Parkinson has promised to get the best out Sunderland’s creative talents, but insists that his side must improve out of possession.
Jack Ross was criticised at times for his style of play and there have been some concerns from sections of the support given that Parkinson was known for employing a direct style with his Bolton Wanderers side.
Parkinson, though, says he is a pragmatist who will make the most of Sunderland’s technical talents.
He has nevertheless identified his side’s defending when turning over possession as a key area for improvement.
“In my managerial career, I’ve managed a lot of teams and played a lot of different styles,” Parkinson said.
“Sometimes I find the mistake of a manager is to go into a club and try to impact what you want to do when you haven’t got the players to do it.
“Sunderland have got technical players who can pass the ball. That’s what I want to do.
“But equally, without the ball, we have got to be better,” he added.
“We’ve got to make sure that when we’re attacking, when we lose possession, we don’t look vulnerable and like we’re going to concede.
“The top teams in any league, in any league, will be the best team at doing both sides of the game.”
Parkinson said the Black Cats were ‘very unlucky’ to fall just short of promotion last season, and that is his job to find the extra 10-15% that can get them over the line in the coming months.
In an early assessment of a squad he says he knows well, he believes he has what he needs in the current group.
He did, however, give a clear indication that he will look to strengthen come January.
“I think there’s talent in the squad,” he said.
“I think the team can be improved within the group.
“We’ve got to get more out of the individuals, which will help the team as a collective.
“I feel the answers are there [within the squad] but of course, we’ve discussed in the interviews that if in January we need a boost, which often happens, then the board will be very supportive.”