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Simon Says: Pre-Leeds presser - Snodgrass a possibility? ‘Gradel wanted to come’

Simon Grayson today spoke about Dider Ndong, Robert Snodgrass, transfers, Leeds United and so much more!

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Simon Grayson spoke to the media this morning ahead of the Leeds United game on Saturday. The gaffer addressed a few issues, including some transfer speculation and his thoughts on our upcoming opponents - the club he supported as a boy. So lets just dive in to the juicy bits and see what the manager had to say.


Didier Ndong

I knew a little bit about him but when you are working with players closely you see them in a different light. He has unbelievable athleticism and work rate, and good quality on the ball too. That is why he was a £13.6million player. He is still young and adapting to the British way of football, it is never easy when you are in a team that is finding it difficult in the Premier League but he looks like he is enjoying himself and is doing what I am asking him to do. Long may that continue.

I think it is totally against what you are trying to do as a manager, you are trying to get your group together and want to know where you are. We have talked about this over the past few weeks, we are vulnerable to players leaving as every other club in the country and Europe is too.

Robert Snodgrass

When people like him become available you would be foolish not to consider it. Again that would be a deal dictated by finances. Can we do it? Who knows but we might ask the question.

Scotland v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Scottish international Robert Snodgrass has been told he can leave West Ham
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Anything happening soon?

I think the last week will be really busy for a lot of clubs. We keep saying we are vulnerable. We want to bring players in too. We missed out on Max Gradel the other day, he wanted to come three weeks ago.

Transfer Fees?

When asked if we have money to spend or if we only want loans:

I think A bit of both really. I think really we will be sort of looking on the loan market as it stands today. If any move became available from players going out then that would maybe make an option to go and spend some money. So if we were left with the squad we have got at this moment in time on the 1st of September and added 1 or 2 I would be more than satisfied. I think we have got some good players, some strength and depth. Ultimately who know what is gonna happen over the next 10 days or so.

On expectations

You have to deal with that all the time - and people being negative when you lose a couple of games - that’s just part and parcel of being at a club the size of Sunderland. We will try and remain level headed - the staff, the players. But you have to allow people to enjoy themselves.

Who are promotion candidates?

This year everybody thinks they have a good strong chance at being up at the reaches of promotion... Teams like Aston Villa are currently in the bottom 3 and they expect to be up there. But thats the Championship for you!

Colchester United v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup First Round
Steve Bruce and Aston Villa were expected to be up at the top this season - 3 games in and they are struggling badly.
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Josh Maja

He is going to be out for four to five weeks with his knee injury. He had a good pre-season so it is disappointing but someone else will get a chance.

Leeds United

I loved it there (Leeds), obviously being a Leeds supporter and managing the club and playing for it has been an ambition fulfilled I suppose. The only disappointing thing was getting sacked - when we were so close to getting the club back to where it wanted and needed to be.

It is all part of the history books now. There is nobody more desperate to get 3 points on Saturday than myself. This is my job now and my career and I want to do my best for Sunderland.


So that is all from our gaffer this morning. Some interesting points made - I think the most telling thing is the lack of money available. That said, the crack regarding Robert Snodgrass is good to know - hopefully we can squeeze some pennies out of Ellis Short to get him in because that would be the kind of signing that’d make us very credible promotion contenders.