Phil Parkinson reacts to Stewart Donald's return to Sunderland AFC

Phil Parkinson and Stewart Donald were set to share a drink after the Sunderland owner took in the win over Ipswich Town.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 2:36 pm

Donald, who publicly placed the Black Cats up for sale in December, has been absent from the Stadium of Light in recent weeks – but returned to the public eye for the triumph over the Tractor Boys.

And Parkinson was set to meet the Sunderland owner shortly after his post-match press conference, but admitted he remains in regular contact with the majority shareholder.

The Sunderland boss said: “I exchanged texts with him this morning.

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Stewart Donald has returned to Sunderland AFC

“I always text him the team and injury updates, but he said he's going to come down and have a drink with us later.

It'll be good to have a drink with him and I'm sure he'll be happy tonight.”

Parkinson was also quizzed on contracts, with a number of his side set to see their current deals expire at the end of the season.

First-team regulars Jon McLaughlin, Joel Lynch, Tom Flanagan and Chris Maguire are among a host of players out of contract in the summer, but they are yet to enter talks over an extension to their terms.

And Parkinson says talks will only begin when Donald is ready.

When quizzed on whether having the dangling carrot of a new contract helped aid performance, Parkinson replied: “Possibly. I don't really look at it like that.

“But there are quite a few players out of contract which the chairman will address when he's ready. “