'It was a strange night': Phil Parkinson recalls the moment Blackpool boss Simon Grayson faced the sack at Sunderland

Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has spoken about the "strange night" when Simon Grayson was sacked at the Stadium of Light just 17 minutes after a draw with his then Bolton Wanderers side.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 9:33 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 9:34 am
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson

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Bolton were bottom of the Championship table when they made the trip to the North East in October 2017 to face fellow strugglers Sunderland, who went on to suffer a second successive relegation.

The Trotters wasted a two-goal lead to eventually draw 3-3.

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But the result wasn't enough to save Grayson's job on Wearside as the 49-year-old was given the boot after winning just one league game during his four months in charge.

"It was a very strange night and the atmosphere on the pitch was very strange," Parkinson told the Sunderland Echo.

"I remember it, we went 2-0 up but a goal just before the break changed the atmosphere slightly.

"I didn't get a chance to speak to Simon afterwards which was very rare because normally you'll have a drink home and away with the opposition manager, but the club made the decision.

"But I'm pleased to see him back in work.

"He's got a good record and everyone knows that he's back at a club he's been at before and he's doing well."

Parkinson, who is now in charge at Sunderland in the third tier, will come face-to-face with Grayson once again when Blackpool make the visit to the Stadium of Light this weekend.

But this time it is Parkinson who is under threat having lost eight of the 12 games he has taken charge of since replacing Jack Ross - leaving Sunderland 11th in the League One table.

"Not having a game for a couple of weeks after this game obviously adds to it (the pressure), Parkinson added, whose side aren't in action until Boxing Day after Saturday's encounter.

"It's important that we get a win for the game.

"It'll be interesting because they've played three at the back away, they've flipped it round to four at home at times, so it's difficult to second guess how they'll play.

"We just need to concentrate on what we need to do."