By Kevin Phillips

25th Feb, 2020 | 12:27pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips delivers Sunderland warning after chat with club director

Kevin Phillips has urged Sunderland to focus on matters on the pitch after non-executive director David Jones outlined his ambitions for the club.

The former Black Cats striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, warned his former club to not get “carried away” with off-field matters and to concentrate on promotion.

Jones joined the Wearside club as a non-executive director last year and recently outlined his plans for the club in an interview with the Red and White match day programme.

The Sky Sports presenter spoke of building a ‘modern recruitment system’ at the Stadium of Light with work already underway as department head Tony Coton expands his scouting network.

When asked if the ambitions of the club off the pitch represented good news for fans, Phillips told Football Insider: “It is easy to say things and Dave is a passionate Sunderland supporter.

“I had a chat with him last week and obviously he is delighted to be involved with the football club and he will have his own ideas on how to move the club forward but I think Sunderland have to be very careful.

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“We have seen them get carried away with things off the pitch before because ultimately you have to get it right on the pitch first and let things like that follow.

“It is great that they have the ambition to do it but first and foremost get out of that league.”

After enduring a difficult start on Wearside Phil Parkinson has now led the club to fourth in League One.

A 3-0 home victory against Bristol Rovers last weekend made it four wins on the bounce and eight clean sheets in nine for the promotion hopefuls.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider he likes what he heard at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.