Phil Parkinson: Sunderland boss confident of upturn amid supporter unrest

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson has not guided Sunderland to victory since a 1-0 win over Southend in November

Under-pressure boss Phil Parkinson remains confident he can help Sunderland turn around their League One form amid supporter unrest.

Since replacing Jack Ross, Parkinson has won only twice in nine league games and seen Sunderland drop to 15th.

Fans chanted angrily towards Parkinson at the end of Thursday's 0-0 draw with strugglers Bolton Wanderers.

"I understand supporters' frustrations because they want to see the team win," Parkinson told BBC Newcastle.

"We're playing a team down the bottom and expectation is on us to win and we haven't been able to produce that.

"We have to turn these draws into wins. I'm confident we will do that but we've got to keep believing and keep doing the right things on the football pitch."

Parkinson helped Bradford to a League Cup final appearance, promotion from League Two and an FA Cup quarter-final during his time at Valley Parade, and won promotion with Bolton too. But he has been unable to repeat the same success at Sunderland.

An FA Cup exit to Gillingham and a nine-game winless run in all competitions has put extra pressure on the Wearsiders, who were sixth when former boss Ross was sacked in October.

He led the club to a play-off final defeat by Charlton and the EFL Trophy final at Wembley last season.

Despite the slump, 52-year-old Parkinson retains the support of the players who he says he "cannot fault" for the way they have performed in training.

"I understand results aren't there at the moment, but we need to stay together and it will come," defender Alim Ozturk said.

"To be honest, it's just the results that are frustrating, and it's frustrating for us as well.

"If you see the group in training, it's like in a game, everyone wants to win."

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