'There will always be pressure': Blackpool boss Simon Grayson on the criticism facing under-fire Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson
Blackpool boss Simon Grayson believes there will always be pressure hanging over the manager of his former club Sunderland.
It comes as Grayson prepares to take his Pool side to the Stadium of Light, where he was sacked back in 2017 after winning just one league games during his four months in charge.
But the shoe will be on the foot tomorrow as the man in the opposing dugout, Phil Parkinson, is now severely under pressure after losing eight of his first 12 games in charge.
“I think there’s always pressure because of the size of the club and the expectancy level they put on the manager and the players as well," Grayson said.
“You saw Jack Ross took them to the play-off final and the Checkatrade final, as it was, and then made an okay-ish start to this season and ended up losing his job. That just comes with the territory of managing up there.
“You do need time, without a shadow of a doubt. Phil will be desperate to get more time to implement his own ideas and get his own players in.
“There will be an injection of cash I’m sure to help him out but it’s an opportunity because it’s our next game and we’re in a good run of form, so we've got to try and capitalise on it.”
The Seasiders travel to Wearside brimming with confidence having won six of their last eight games in all competitions.
That's in stark contrast to Sunderland, whose latest defeat came in a 1-0 loss at Gillingham last weekend.
“I expect them to try and get a reaction," Grayson added.
“There’s a lot of criticism flying around up there at this moment in time but I think they’ll come out and try and get the early goal and really get the crowd on side.
“But it’s up to us to go and play our game and implement our ideas in how we can hurt them.
“Which system they’ll play I’m not quite sure as they’ve tweaked it quite a few times over the last few weeks.
“But Phil will be doing whatever is required to try and get a result because when it doesn’t work for you as a manager you try different things.
“That’s what I did when I was up there because when it wasn’t quite working I kept changing personnel and kept changing system to try and get a result to catapult your season.
“Time will tell if that will be the case. Hopefully if they do get results it will be after the weekend.
“It’s going to be a good game for us to go up there and showcase what we’re capable of doing and pitch ourselves against some real experienced and talented players.
“They paid a lot of money for people like Will Grigg, Charlie Wyke as well and they’ve obviously had their issues with Aiden McGeady who won’t be involved.
“But people like Duncan Watmore and Grant Leadbitter are experienced players, so they’ve got a real talented group of players that isn’t quite clicking at this moment in time.
“We have to try and use that to our advantage if possible."