Bolton News chief football writer Marc Iles believes former Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson will get Sunderland promoted.
Parkinson managed Bolton for three years, achieving promotion in his first season. However, amid financial problems, the Chorley-born man was unable to keep the Lancashire club up, and they were relegated last season to League One.
Iles has high hopes for Parkinson at Sunderland and thinks he is the right man for the job.
He said: ”Phil will get Sunderland promoted, no doubt in my mind. He knows this level of football, knows the sort of characters who succeed and the kind of football you need to play.”
The Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust also had their say on their former boss. A member of the trust, Shane Stopforth was full of praise for how Parkinson performed under extremely difficult circumstances but does think he has some tactical shortcomings.
He said: ”Parkinson did a sterling job with both hands tied behind his back but tactically he was a little bit weak. There was a lot of route one football to the centre forward, and now we are seeing much better football being played.”
Iles sees things slightly differently, with a focus on results the most important things.
He added: ”There will be people who say the style was too direct or that it was ‘negative’- but in my opinion, a win is a win.
”Too many teams get cut off in this division for years by failing to find the right formula. Look at Sheffield United, Leeds, Coventry … clubs who got marooned.
”Sunderland is not a difficult job if you let all the background stuff play out and concentrate on your team, your training ground. That is what Phil was very, very good at.”
The former Wanderers manager had to deal with many financial problems at the Lancashire club and the Bolton News writer thinks he deserves an opportunity at a new club with ambition.
He said: “Considering the rubbish he had to put up with at Bolton, he deserved a medal to go with the Sunderland job.
“He has questions to answer at Championship level. But Sunderland need to remember they are League One- and they will be League One until they get rid of that unnecessary big club mentality.
“Some Bolton fans focus on the latter days, dwell on the poor football being played in the last two seasons. I doubt any of them would dispute that there were mitigating factors, though. Who would have done better under Ken Anderson’s reign?
“Most Bolton fans accept that he did a dignified job under extreme circumstances. I think history will treat him very kindly indeed.”
Parkinson will begin his reign at Sunderland on Saturday, away to Wycombe Wanderers.