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The diary of a Sunderland Fan: #2 - Bringing pride back to our club must be top of Grayson's list

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Good first impressions are absolutely everything when it comes to succeeding in football management.

Simon Grayson - Sunderland's new manager
SAFC.com

If a new manager can give off the impression that they know what they are doing it can be a deal-breaker, particularly when you're aiming to please an impatient bunch of football fans that are keen to hear what you have to say about your plans for the future.

You can imagine my relief when I heard Simon Grayson speak in front of the cameras yesterday evening on SAFC.com upon the confirmation that he had decided to take up the job as Sunderland manager. He came across fantastically well.

He told us that, under his stewardship, Sunderland's players will show heart and determination; he wants to create an atmosphere that breeds winning, that develops young players and brings pride back to the supporters.

Lip service it may be, but I honestly bought in to every word that he said. He seems genuine, ambitious and enthusiastic. The challenge ahead is enormous but having someone in charge that hasn't managed at a club of this size means that he'll give it his all to ensure things work - a stark contrast to recent years when experienced, big name managers have arrived here only to complain because they weren't used to working under such strict conditions.

That's not to say that I think Grayson is a yes man, but at the end of the day it is what it is. There's no hiding from the fact that we're a mess of a club, both on and off the pitch, and whoever took over the job was going in fully aware of what they have to work with.

He's nothing flash or trendy but that's not what Sunderland need. Sunderland need someone that has worked with limitations before - someone that will come here, roll up their sleeves and embrace the situation that we find ourselves in. It's a tough ask but the importance of having someone in charge now that is going to grab the opportunity with both hands is colossal.

It has been five and a half weeks since David Moyes resigned as Sunderland manager and that time between now and the day he left have been some of the most ambivalent in our recent history. The uncertainty over what a potential takeover could mean coupled with numerous managers distancing themselves from the Sunderland job have only served to create a hostile and apathetic atmosphere - something I'm sure that we can all agree is not healthy, nor is it going to help our bid to get out of the Championship next season.

Finally I feel positive about Sunderland again. I've not felt like this for quite some time and being able to look forward to the season seems like a luxury; I woke up this morning and all I could think about was all the good stuff that comes with a new season - the potential of new signings, the upcoming pre-season fixtures and so on. It's exciting. Change brings optimism, optimism brings hope and hope, sometimes, brings success.

I urge my fellow supporters to give this man a fair chance. Whilst there'll understandably be anger towards Martin Bain and Ellis Short for their handling of the ownership situation in recent weeks the new manager and the players need our support now more than ever if things are going to work out.

There will undoubtedly be obstacles thrown in our way between now and the end of the season but the normality that comes with having a manager in place is a welcoming feeling. Sunderland fans have suffered for long enough now - if rebuilding this club is going to take time then so be it.

Bring on the Championship. I can't wait.