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NewsWipe: Micky Gray Challenges Short To Spend As Club Prepares Fresh Legend Plans

In todays NewsWipe: Micky Gray is at it again - challenging Ellis Short to spend, but is the rent-a-mackem merely a hindrance? And as one former player blows for ratings, some others are planning something a little more constructive.

Micky Gray Says....

According to various people who were listening to the radio this morning, TalkSport pundit and rent-a-mackem, Micky Gray, has urged Sunderland owner Ellis Short to provide David Moyes with sufficient funds to launch a cash-backed survival bid in January.

Reflecting on the back-to-back wins which have lifted Sunderland off the bottom of the table, Gray said:

It’s brilliant. I just hope that this success continues until January, and I hope David gets backed because he needs to strengthen this squad.

Certainly the improvement in results and upswing in performances can not hide what is a threadbare squad which has, at times, been ravaged by injuries. Indeed David Moyes is clearly under no illusion on this topic, as he confirmed on Saturday:

We have started to show some signs in games that we can create opportunities and win. I believe the players are giving everything they can.

We understand that we may be lacking some quality at times but we do not intend to be found wanting in terms of commitment and effort.

And of course he is right, Hard-fought victories over Bournemouth and Hull are one thing; but in truth, both opponents looked to have their own stark limitations. The real tests are yet to come for a side which needs to be picking up points on a consistent basis.

Gray and his co-host, Jim White, then went further to claim they 'understand' Sunderland have no money to spend in the January window. White claimed something to this effect would be 'revealed' in the coming days.

Newswipe has already reported that sources close to the club have described a dampening of expectation from within the corridors of power at Sunderland; and that more whispers are likely to emerge which hint at a forlorn looking purse when the winter transfer window opens in less than six weeks' time.

What Jim White is on about though, no one really knows.

And The Legends Continue....

Former player and fan favourite, Micky Gray, is what he is. A pundit who gets paid for soundbites. There tends to be little substance in his analysis of Sunderland and whether he watches many games, or has much understanding of the state of things at his home-town club, is doubtful.

But, some other former players, legends and popular figures are being courted by the club to continue putting into practice some of the rhetoric emanating from the Stadium of Light about reconnecting with the roots of the club and its fan base.

Earlier we covered some of the community-feel to the club that David Moyes and Chief Executive, Martin Bain, are keen to progress. The enormous swell of goodwill generated by the appearance of Charlie Hurley on Saturday has galvanised efforts to engage with some of those players for whom supporters still hold an affection, and those who have an understanding and a connection with the club, its fan base and the city.

BBC Newcastle co-commentator and Sunderland legend, Gary Bennett, still heads up a cohort of former players at the club and meetings have been held with the powers-that-be at Sunderland to continue to re-engage with those who can fulfill an ambassadorial role and connect players with supporters.

Bennett has spoken at length about the growing chasm between players and the unique fan base which makes up the Sunderland support and he is an example of one individual who 'gets' what the club and its fans are about.

It seems renewed efforts to use a small gang of 'legends' are under way to launch some new initiatives at the club. They might even restore the stadium bars named after glorious players from the past.