ANOTHER week, another headache to deal with at Sunderland. If it isn’t a negative result or a breakdown in takeover talks, or even a resignation from the boardroom, it is an issue with a player – and this week it was a big player.

Things have been going from bad to worse at the Stadium of Light for quite some time, with a feeling of discontent and frustration running through the club. The disconnect between the supporters and the boardroom, the team and the manager is growing.

Aiden McGeady was told to find a new club to join when the window opens next month, according to Phil Parkinson it was a number of factors that influenced his decision and being pictured in McDonald’s in his club gear after last weekend’s defeat to Gillingham hardly helped.

McGeady, who was still the team’s top scorer this season, has not hit the heights he was able to last season but he remains one of the most talented players in the division. To decide to move him on is a major move for a team chasing promotion.

That is where Sunderland are right now. If McGeady does leave, Sunderland will have lost their best player, manager Jack Ross, executive director Charlie Mehtven and managing director Tony Davison since the start of the season.

No wonder Parkinson, who has certainly been dealt a difficult hand since taking over, is having to work hard to try to repair fractures that have gradually widened since suffering defeat in the play-off final last May – when a proposed takeover looked on the cards and never materialised.

Since taking over from Ross in October, Parkinson has only won two of his 12 matches in charge and the visit of fourth-placed Blackpool today represents another huge afternoon when the fans could turn on him and the players.

But it also represents an opportunity for Sunderland to start to close the ten point gap to second spot or, initially, the five point deficit to the play-off zone. Parkinson insists the situation is not a lost cause.

“Absolutely not (an irretrievable position),” said Parkinson. “We’ve got work to do with existing players. We’ve got players back on the training pitch, which I’m delighted to see. We’ve got work to do in January, we’ve got work to do with all departments of the club.

“The scouting department has been improved by the owner, we employed extra people to help with that, which I think is crucial. They’ve invested a significant amount of money into that, and we’ve got to work together to try to get us back in the part of the table we need to be, which is at the very top.”

Parkinson has come under-fire from Sunderland supporters and one fans’ group has just recorded the Wise Men Say podcast and named it “Just Sack Phil”. He knows he has a tough challenge on his hands but he still feels he has the backing of owner Stewart Donald.

“I haven’t read the podcast title or listened to it. But I think when you’re losing games and you’re on a bad run, you expect things like that to emerge. But you know, to answer your question, I haven’t seen it,” said the former Bolton boss.

“I have spoken to the owner this week, and last week, he was up here, so we had a good chat, and we’re clear what we need to do and we’re working towards that.”

Having just appointed Andrew Taylor as first team coach and made the decision about McGeady, Parkinson is clearly working towards the window opening – and with Donald’s backing there seemingly regardless of the outcome against Simon Grayson’s Blackpool today.

“I’m in talks about January and progressing and improving things. And I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to do that,” he said.

“Obviously we’re looking to improve the squad, both within and possibly from outside. And Stewart is 100 per cent backing me to do that. He knows this squad needs to be improved, and he sees it clearly what we need to do. We need a lift – I think all the supporters do, as do the players and all the staff. We’re doing everything we can to put a team on the pitch that will enable us to do that.”