Phil Parkinson outlines what he's told Sunderland about his summer recruitment vision

Phil Parkinson says he will make his transfer plans ‘crystal clear’ to the Sunderland hierarchy as attempts to rebuild his squad this summer.

Saturday, 4th July 2020, 8:00 am

Parkinson is targeting around ‘seven or eight’ new signings, and has also urged the club to progress a contract extension for Tom Flanagan, who has been a regular in his defence during 2020.

He also believes the club are ‘getting close’ to sealing their first incoming.

The Black Cats boss has previously said that he will be patient in waiting for some targets, believing that a better calibre of player could be available later in the summer when the Championship and Premier League clubs have concluded.

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Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson

With the COVID-19 crisis causing widespread uncertainty across the game, he says it it his job to ensure the Black Cats are absolutely clear on what they need from the market.

Parkinson was discussing his plans with Sunderland legend Marco Gabbiadini on BBC Newcastle’s Total Sport, who suggested that more height was needed at both ends of the pitch.

“You've got to have a physicality at any level of football,” Parkinson said.

“I want athleticism and an energy in the team. You need young legs to do that and I think we've got a core of players who fill that criteria.

“We obviously also know the way we want to play and the shape that we're building towards, so it's about getting the players that fit that.

“I've said to all the staff in the last couple of weeks, this is how I want to play, these are the positions we want, let's have a clear identity of what we're building towards so that the summer doesn't get muddled.

“There's enough with everything going on that could make it muddled so it is my job to make it absolutely crystal clear: this is how we want to play, obviously any system needs some variations in it but these are the players that fit.

“I think if we do that, stay calm, work together, we'll have a chance.”

Parkinson says he is determined to maintain the high-pressing style that underpinned an improvement to the club’s fortunes at the turn of the year.

The club are hopeful that a start date for the new season could be announced in the near future, with the EFL proposing a date in mid-September that many clubs believe could be realistic.

“The lads started to relish starting to play on our home patch and the supporters responded to how we were playing,” Parkinson said.

“It’s my job to replicate that and with better quality as well.

“If we do that, the fans, despite the frustrations of being in the division, will get right behind the team.

“My job is to produce a brand of football that the fans can relate to, that's what I'm going to.

“I'm itching to get going again and I know the players are too.”