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Simon Says: Boss offers no guarantee Sunderland will avoid relegation ahead of Ipswich clash

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has been back in front of the press to pick apart Saturday’s dismal defeat to Cardiff and preview his latest opportunity for a quick upturn at Ipswich tomorrow.

On Cardiff, and Lamine Kone giving away the penalty which led to the winning goal:

It probably happens in a lot of matches - sometimes you get them against you, sometimes you get them for you, on this occasion we got punished for once so its something we have to better with, deal with and make sure we don’t do it again.

On the upcoming games being away from the Stadium of Light:

The proof will be in the pudding if we get some positive results in the next two games. We’ve always tried to use the talk about not winning at home as a positive, in terms of ‘lets put this to bed quickly’, and for large parts on Saturday we didn’t do too bad, to be fair. That victory will come sooner or later, all we’ve got to do is focus on the next game which is away from home at a team that have had a decent start, but who have lost four out of their last five games. Ipswich are a team that highlight what the Championship is about - you can win some games, but you can go on a runs of losing them and we’ve got to go to Ipswich now and try to get our season underway again.

On going into the international break without breaking our losing streak:

Yeah, of course we don’t (want to go in having not won a game) and the table doesn’t look good. Nothing is ever won or lost in September, we’ve got 37 games still to go which is what - 111 points still to play for? We know there’s a lot of stuff still to happen between now and the end of the season but ultimately we want to start to win matches very quickly to get us up that division and that’s what we setting out to do every time go out on to that pitch.

On relieving the pressure around the club:

I take the pressure off the players because that’s my job but ultimately I don’t get too despondent - when we are winning games I don’t get too carried away. I’m disappointed in where we are, it hurts because I’m the manager of this football club that wants to get results but we’re all in this together. We’ll fight our way through it, I’ve got enough games under my belt as a manager to know we’re not far away from getting some positive results, and positive news in the next ten days or so with players coming back from injury and that will help us along the way. Nobody likes to be on this run that we’re on at the moment in time but what we have to do is work hard and keep believing we’re doing the right things, and that we can turn it around very quickly.

On injuries:

Duncan played 65-70 minutes yesterday and looked very good in terms of what he was doing. It was still an U23s game but he could have scored 4 or 5 goals and had some good opportunities. I watched the game yesterday and was pleased with what he did. We have to go with the physios and medical department to see when he’ll be involved but that day will be sooner than later.

In terms of Jonny Williams and Callum (McManaman) - both didn’t train yesterday. The players are in this afternoon so we’ll have more of an update on them later.

On where he expects us to be in relation to where we are:

When you come to a club like Sunderland you expect to be further up the division and not in the bottom three, but you take four to five players that would be in your starting eleven out of anybody’s team and you’re not going to have the results that you want.

That has gone against us, we’ve not had many breaks go our way, but we’re certainly not going to use them as an excuse - we have to do the basic fundamentals better and grind a result out - eventually that can lead to more positive results.

On Mick McCarthy:

I’m a big admirer of Mick, a good friend of his. Last year he got a load of criticism from people down at Ipswich but he overrides it and gets on with his job and there’s probably no more experienced managers in this division than himself, so (I’m) full of respect for Mick.

Queens Park Rangers v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Smooth as ever - Mick McCarthy
Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

On our game plan at Ipswich & the mentality after conceding first:

(If we go a goal down) If we do we’ve got to make sure that we don’t let it affect us. We’ve got to make sure we stick together, override it and we have the belief to come back in to games so yeah, everybody wants to score that first goal but it isn’t the end of the game, because you get opportunities to get back in to it, but we know we need to do better at both ends of the pitch.

On reassuring the fans of our situation:

Anybody that has seen the last couple of performances will see that we’ve done ok, but doing ok isn’t good enough at this moment of time to get us the results, we have to do better and the players have to instead of being C, minus B types if you were grading them have to step up to the mark and be B plus, A minus type of thing to go win us games, so (the) players take responsibility of that.

Can I guarantee we’re not going to go down? Nobody can guarantee nothing is going to happen like that, as I said, we’ve got 37 still to go - there’s a long way to to go, we get key players back, we get some results and suddenly it can look a lot more positive for everybody and that’s what we will all concentrate on trying to do, because that’s what we’re all here to do, we all care about the club and as I keep going back (to) - nothing is won or lost in September.

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Posted by Sunderland AFC on Monday, September 25, 2017

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