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Simon Says: Pre-Hull Presser - Are Sunderland in for a free agent striker? & More

Today Simon Grayson met with the media to talk ahead of tomorrow’s game with Hull, discussing a multitude of things - including signing free agents, not getting carried away with our position in the league and fan frustrations.

Simon Says - Your roundup of all the good bits from the gaffer’s presser!
RokerReport.com

On the disappointing Forest defeat:

I was really pleased with how we played. I watched the game back again with my chief scout and we were really pleased. It was probably the most dominant we’ve been over a long period of time, in terms of the 90 minutes - how we effected the play, how we kept the ball. One thing that was missing was putting the ball in the back of the net and ultimately not having the breaks - late in the game things were going past the post. But there’s a lot to be pleased about and the reaction from the disappointing result against Sheffield United on the Saturday, because they showed a lot of character and desire to do well again, so it was pleasing apart from the main thing that matters, which is the result.

On the support of the crowd:

I highlighted it on Tuesday after the game to the players and to the press that the supporters, when they’re staying til the end and clapping you off, they appreciate what we are trying to do. On other occasions when the players have not played like they should do then they’ve got a right to voice their frustration. Ultimately though in isolation we’ve lost four games where the previous five we were unbeaten, and that’s how the Championship can be and how football in general can be.

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

On getting over our bad run of results:

If we play like we did on Tuesday night then the victory will come very quickly, hopefully it’s going to be on Saturday against Hull. We know what we need to do and we know that we need to keep working and keep doing the right things, and ultimately we’ll get the victory because the players are desperate to do well. They showed again on Tuesday what they are capable of doing, and I think the new lads will get fitter and will affect the game even in a more positive manner than they have done recently, so hopefully signs will improve and we’ll turn this corner very quickly.

On our lack of goals:

Ultimately everybody has to contribute. Wide players need to get in to better goalscoring positions, midfield players do - they have to hit the target when they’re shooting, set pieces have got to be better as well because we want centre backs to be scoring or other people have to chip in.

I think some part of it goes with confidence as well, some times you take an extra touch when you don’t need to do. If you score a few more goals - individually, collectively as a team - you’ll hit something first time and it will end up in the back of the net given the opposition won’t have the time to get a block on, which happened on Tuesday night late on in the game, things just going past the post and in key moments of the game. Everybody has to contribute and we’d like to set up more goals for the team to help us win matches.

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

On free agents:

If there is (anyone available) then everyone else will be looking at them too. Most of the players will have been taken up already - that’s not to say that we’re not looking around but also we’ve got to look at what we’ve got within the group to make them better as well, we’ve got to work with the group and make sure that everybody’s playing to the best of their capabilities. Instill a little bit more confidence. Hopefully key players will be coming back over the next few weeks which will improve us at the top end of the pitch, and current players will be better with more and more game time under their belts.

On our position in the league:

It’s where you finish at the end of the season that matters. I don’t think that teams at the top end of the division will be getting carried away thinking they’re going to win the league. It’s a long gruelling season and you’re going to go through ups and downs that’s for sure, and we are on a bit of a down at this moment of time but we’ve got to get back quickly - and I’m very positive that we will do.

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

On taking time to adjust in the Championship:

If you look back in history, there aren’t too many teams that have got promoted at the first time of asking after a relegation. Big names haven’t got a right to go straight back up in the Premier League, so you have to work hard and do what is required. Everybody takes time to adjust but the ultimate goal is to get promotion.

There’s a big change over. Very rarely do clubs keep the majority of their players so its a time where your best players leave the club to balance the books, you do lose revenue through many different areas and it takes time for everybody to adjust to it, supporters as well, because a team who gets relegated from the Premier League is suddenly the big fish in this division and everybody wants to beat you. I was talking to Chris Wilder after the game on Saturday and they were looking forward to this game because of the stadium and the magnitude of this football club. People do raise their games when they play big teams.

On gelling as a squad:

We’re looking to gel as quickly as possible. We’ve got enough games coming up - we’d like a bit more time on the training pitch to do that but you can’t feel sorry for yourself. We worked yesterday, we worked this morning before tomorrow’s game and before you know it we’re working Monday Tuesday for the Wednesday game so we just have to do whatever is required to get the lads gelling, and we’re very confident that we will do, and again with players coming back hopefully in the next few weeks it will give us a big injection of confidence and quality.

On being ‘in this together’ and future success:

We’re very frustrated - myself, the supporters, the players - cos we all want results and we all want to make sure we’re doing our best for this football club and ultimately its a time for adjustment and taking stock. When things don’t go for you you’ve got to stay level headed and not get too despondent, and on the reverse of that when things go really well don’t get too carried away because football can kick you where it hurts. We’re all in this together. The players are working really hard to be successful for this club and hopefully the supporters will see that success over a period of time.