It has been a tough few years for Sunderland and their supporters but they will be hoping it is third time lucky with promotion from League One next season. 

Phil Parkinson has done it before and is gearing up for his first full season in charge at the Stadium of Light.

They are ‘hopeful’ of securing a permanent deal for defender Bailey Wright, as mentioned in a report by the Northern Echo. He is a free agent after being released by Bristol City.

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The ex-Preston North End man spent the second-half of the past season on loan at Sunderland.

Sunderland have batted away competition from elsewhere to bring Republic of Ireland international Aiden O’Brien to the club on a free transfer.

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O’Brien, who is 26 years old, has spent his whole career to date at Millwall and made 226 appearances for the Lions in all competitions, chipping in with 44 goals.

The forward also had loan spells away at Staines Town, Hayes and Yeading United, Crawley Town, Aldershot Town and Torquay United in his early career at the Den.

He helped Millwall gain promotion from League One in 2017 and then since establish themselves as a Championship side. That is exactly what Sunderland need to do right now and having someone who has done it before is crucial for them.

Bringing him to the Stadium of Light is a statement of intent by Sunderland and they will be hoping to supplement his arrival by signing some more established players, such as Wright, to the club.

Will Sunderland go up next year?