Sunderland have been in really poor form.
The League One side are currently eighth, but their most recent results have been disappointing to say the least.
They were beaten by Mansfield Town in the FA Cup first round, were defeated by Fleetwood Town in the Football League Trophy, and lost to MK Dons in the league before their 1-1 draw with Doncaster last time out.
There continues to be talk of a takeover at Sunderland, with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus attempting to get a deal over the line.
And the job being done by manager Phil Parkinson is surely under the microscope as a result.
Sunderland face Fleetwood on Thursday, aware that a victory would move them level on points with fourth-placed Portsmouth should other results go their way.
And Kevin Phillips, a Sunderland legend, believes that Parkinson absolutely needs a win against a side that have been in excellent form by comparison.
Fleetwood have won all of their last four games and thumped Plymouth Argyle 5-1 at the weekend.
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips said: “It certainly will not help his situation if they lose against Fleetwood, let’s put it that way.
“I am not going to say that he should be sacked but we all know the business, Phil included.
“It is a big game for Sunderland on Friday because of where both sides are in the league.
“It could have been so different at the weekend. If they held on for the three points it would have been a great result away from home.
“Joey Barton has got Fleetwood flying. There is always a niggle between Barton and Sunderland because of his days at Newcastle – he will be desperate to win the match.
“Phil is not daft. He knows that the pressure is mounting with the takeover looming.
“When new owners come in they often like to bring their own man in.
“Ultimately, it is about results on the pitch and if they were to lose tomorrow Sunderland could be some way off the top spot. It is a huge game for everyone concerned.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Phillips has nailed this.
It might seem harsh because Sunderland are actually not doing all that badly in terms of their league position.
As mentioned, a win over Fleetwood moves them level with Portsmouth.
They are, of course, eight points behind leaders Hull City, a significant gap, but Parkinson is doing fine.
Sacking him based on results on the pitch would be harsh in the extreme, whether Fleetwood are beaten or not.News Now - Sport News