Phil Parkinson met the press after taking his first training session. The new gaffer reckons he can achieve promotion at SAFC, let’s hope he does it!
On being appointed Sunderland boss
"First of all it is a great opportunity to get this club going again. The attraction is clear for everybody. The size of the club, the fanbase, the quality of players and I want to look back in a few years' time to see I was the manager that got this club up and running again. I think the process that started to be put in place - they were very unlucky last year not to get over the line - and my job now is to find that extra 10-15 per cent from individuals and the team to bridge that gap between the play-off position last year and hopefully the top two this year.
On his break after Bolton spell
"I have had six or seven weeks and that is long enough. I have enjoyed my break. I am delighted to see Bolton have been taken over by Football Ventures. I think that was very important. I have thoroughly enjoyed my break but I think I am ready and I am relishing this challenge."
On Sunderland's finances
"Through the interview process that was discussed. I am very happy with what I was told. It is a club that we know has had some difficult times but I am very confident that we can take Sunderland on an upward curve."
"Without saying that, I think everybody knows the expectation on a club the size of Sunderland is to get promoted. I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think I could achieve that. One, with the squad we already have in place, and secondly, with the backing I will get from the board. Promotion has to be the ambition. You would be crazy if you spoke to a potential manager who said they would be happy to just tick along nicely this season. They want someone who is ambitious, who has achieved promotions before and someone who will get them over the finishing line. English football is about tight dividing lines and the detail in terms of preparing teams and getting the best out of players is so crucial. I am going to be working very hard along with the staff to hopefully achieve that."
On Saturday's clash with Wycombe
"Wycombe have had a great start to the season and are probably the surprise package. They deserve to be respected and I think teams have maybe underestimated them at times. It is at a stage of the season now where they deserve to be respected. When I first met the Sunderland board then in your mind you have to prepare for it. When you are an interview process you watch as many games and get to know the squad as much as you can because the minute you get employed you have to get into action very quickly. The games are coming around very quickly so I have watched a lot of the previous games, a lot of the individual players, obviously prepare for the opposition and I am looking forward to preparing a Sunderland team this weekend that is going to go down there and get the three points."
How long has it been a possibility for him to be Sunderland manager?
"Obviously Jack left 10 days ago and I first spoke to the Sunderland board just prior to last weekend and again at the start of this week. Things happen quick in football and the board had to make a quick decision because things happen thick and fast, as we know. I am obviously delighted to have been offered the job and now it is up to me and my staff to make the most of it."
On his experience
"That is obviously crucial. My last promotion was at Bolton which was a club I went to with a transfer embargo. They had nothing to spend whatsoever and we had to completely rebuild that club and a demoralised squad at the time. We, of course, got promotion and I am very, very proud of that. I imagine that was a key factor."
"Obviously Sunderland is quite a way ahead of where Bolton were when I took over in terms of the financial situation. But in terms of a club who have had success in the Premier League, the history and has found themselves in the third tier of English football then there are definitely similarities."
On Sunderland's league position
"Obviously after the international break we dropped down a few positions, as you would expect. But the league is really tight and there is a great opportunity to get a few wins under our belt and climb up the table quickly."
Can he lift the play-off hangover?
"I think it is inevitable that can happen. It has happened before after a play-off final and a new voice on the training pitch can have a positive effect."
On Sunderland's current squad
"I think there is talent in the squad. I think all the Sunderland supporters can see that. We have got to address the balance in the team and make sure we are good with the ball and without the ball. The teams over the season that achieve success are those sides. I will be looking closely and working closely with the lads to try and achieve that. We have got a lot of talent, a lot of good attacking players and we have got to make sure that whilst we have the belief of attacking, we are not leaving ourselves vulnerable which has happened at times."
On Sunderland's defensive vulnerabilities
"You have got to have a solid base if you are going to be at the top of any division in English football. Games are very tight and of course clean sheets are crucial at the end of the season. We all want to attack, score goals and excite the supporters which is really important but you can do that by making sure you are not vulnerable when you concede possession."
On expectation at Sunderland
"I think myself and the players have got to expect that and prepare to deal with it. That is the expectations of being at a club the size and the stature of Sunderland. We have got to use the supporters to our advantage. They travel away in numbers and the attendances are fantastic at home games. We have got to use that to inspire us. Ultimately, we have got to send the supporters home and into work on Monday with three points they can be proud of. We have got no divine right to win games and we know we have to earn every single point along the way."
On future investment at Sunderland
"It was discussed in terms of going forward, but it was a case of getting to January and seeing how I feel when I am in the building. But there is a real desire from the board to be successful. These months are about assessing the squad and I am sure if we need reinforcements in January then the board will give us a boost and give me the backing."
What does it take to get promoted?
"It takes a team who can do both sides of the game very well. Who can sometimes win when you don't play at your best which is key. And to win all types of football games at this level. That is the difference. You go to certain environments and I put Wycombe in that category - tight pitch, a cup final for their supporters - and dealing with those situations and being ready for that. Not coming away and thinking 'that was a surprise'. We have got to be ready for all environments and come out on top more often than not."