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News: Grayson stops short of building a wall - but wants to make Sunderland great again

In this afternoon’s Roundup of Sunderland news: Simon Grayson speaks candidly about his ambitions for the season ahead; plus plenty of other snippets. Dive in!

Make Sunderland great again!
Roker Report

Candid chat with the gaffer

It seems as though the club have allowed certain members of the media behind closed doors in the last few days - with Martin Bain interviewed by George Caulkin of the Times over the weekend and now an exclusive with Simon Grayson interviewed by Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail.

Could it be that this is merely a cleverly executed PR exercise to cover up our shortcomings in the transfer market? Probably. Either way, it seems as though the club are keen to see more positivity emit from the press surrounding the place as we head towards the tail end of the transfer window, and Grayson’s piece with the Mail offers some interesting insight in to what he has planned for the club’s future under his stewardship.

Bury v Sunderland - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

To save you trawling through the entire article, I have picked out some of the more intriguing quotes from the piece.

On calling David Moyes prior to taking the job:

He said that somebody would turn Sunderland around and why not me, because he said I was good at what I do.

On change at the club:

Seventy people have lost their jobs from this club in the last year or so. The players are responsible for that because of their performances.

A very large percentage of the players here will care about that. But yeah, there will be a percentage who aren't too bothered because they are still getting paid. And I don't mean just at this club, I mean throughout football. This club is no different from that point of view.

What do Sunderland fans want in his eyes:

It's a matter of getting the supporters to smile again and appreciate what the players are doing.

This is a working-class city that appreciates hard work. There is nothing worse than a working-class bloke going to watch bad football, because it spoils his weekend.

Football fans are not daft. They know when people are bluffing them, so the players who come here will be coming here for the right reasons, to play well and work hard.

They won't be here for the money simply because we haven't got the same resources of other Championship clubs.

They will earn every penny and will work hard for their shirt, rather than just pick up the money and not give two monkeys about the outcome.

On player wages:

I am astonished at some of the wages here. Would I like to play now? No, I don't think so. We got rewards but we could also go out without the scrutiny.

I have never been motivated by money. Any decision I made was because I thought it was the right thing. It enhanced my career and not my bank balance.

On his aims:

I want to make a good club great again.


PNE’s Ben Pearson a potential target?

Sunderland, Burnley and Reading have been linked today with Preston midfielder Ben Pearson. The 22-year old Manchester United academy graduate has played over 50 games for the Lilywhites and has proven himself as a top midfielder, particularly under the tutelage of Simon Grayson.

There has been no word on what price Preston are expecting to rake in for the youngster, but what is certain is that he’s likely out of our price range - especially when you take into account that we are already well-stocked in the centre of the park.

Preston North End v Newcastle United - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Transfers around the league

Former Sunderland ankle-biter Liam Bridcutt has left Leeds United to join Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee. The Scotland international - who made just 36 appearances for our club in a two-and-a-half-year stay on Wearside - has found himself out of favour since Garry Monk left the Yorkshire club and has joined up at Forest with former Mackems Daryl Murphy and David Vaughan.

Sam Gallagher has joined Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City on a season long loan deal from Southampton - Gallagher was linked earlier in the window to Sunderland, and the towering forward certainly would have added plenty to our small pool of attacking talent.

Elsewhere, Chris Wood has left Leeds to join Burnley and Sam Clucas looks all set to join up with Swansea, leaving Hull with a massive hole in their midfield.


Carlisle boss previews Carabao Cup clash

Yesterday Simon Grayson spoke of his fondness for Keith Curle, the manager of tonight’s opponents Carlisle United.

In return, Curle - a former England international during his playing days - has paid gratitude to Grayson, but has warned that his side won’t be push-overs in this evening’s cup clash at Brunton Park.

He said:

Sunderland are a fantastic football club with good owners and a very good manager.

They've spent a lot of time in the Premier League, and back in the day when I used to play against them it was always a difficult place to go to.

We will show them a lot of respect but we don't fear anybody. Will we be starry-eyed and stand off them? I don’t think we've done that in any of the games - such as when we represented Carlisle at Anfield against a host of superstars.

We enjoyed ourselves that night and played a brand of football that was pleasing for the owners and supporters of Carlisle. That is what we're trying to maintain and bring to the club.