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Phil Parkinson: Sunderland pressures are easier than life at Bolton last season

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson says the pressures of being Sunderland boss are preferable to those of guiding Wanderers through the financial chaos of last season.

Though home fans at the Stadium of Light chanted for his sacking during a tense goalless draw at the Stadium of Light, the 52-year-old insists he will stand and fight his corner.

Parkinson is battling against promotion expectations on Wearside but is still more comfortable than he was several months ago, having to tell staff and players that they would not be paid by Ken Anderson but would still have to turn out on a Saturday.

“When I first came here the word ‘pressure’ gets used at Sunderland a lot, handling the stage, the players etc,” he told The Bolton News after the game. “But, for me, there was nothing worse than last year when we were at a club where players hadn’t been paid for five months.

“Dealing with that situation, I think you had to be involved in it to really appreciate the extent of the mental pressure that was placed upon everyone.”

Parkinson also feels the team being assembled by Keith Hill is showing signs of serious improvement.

“They have got Championship standard players in the team – the two centre-halves have played most of their career in that division,” he said.

“Remi (Matthews) is a good keeper, Luke (Murphy) and Jason (Lowe) have played a lot at that level and Daryl Murphy as well, so there’s that quality to fall back on.

“They are getting better. I don’t think there is any argument about that.”

Sunderland felt aggrieved that a first-half header from Tom Flanagan was ruled out by referee Ross Joyce for a foul on keeper Matthews.

“It was a crazy decision, really, because from where we were stood it just looked as though Tom had got ahead of the keeper (Matthews) and headed it into the back of the net,” Parkinson complained. “The majority of the people in the stadium thought that as well.

“I’ve had the benefit of seeing it now and it’s a hugely frustrating decision.

“When things are not going right for us you need the officials to get those big decisions right to give us a lift.”

On the chants, which continued after the final whistle, Parkinson reiterated a plea for patience, which will allow him to bring in reinforcements next month.

“I can understand frustration because the supporters want to see the team win and we were playing a team down the bottom, so the expectation is on us to win and we haven’t produced it,” he said.

“I really don’t feel it was a lack of effort or bravery to keep playing, it was just producing a moment of getting on the end of a cross or a set play. If we’d have got that goal, we’d have gone on to win two or three-nil.”

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