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Simon Says: Showing signs of pressure; Can Grayson turn our fortunes around tomorrow?

Simon Grayson has today met the press ahead of the Preston game, and spoke with some frank honesty about Sunderland’s current situation.

On his time at Preston:

I have a good affiliation with the supporters and the owners. It was not an easy decision to make when I left the football club. I had a fantastic time there and really enjoyed myself.

What reception does he expect from the home fans?

Who knows in football? I have not got a clue. All I am going to do and focus on trying to win the game. Leave that to supporters to do whatever they feel is appropriate to do.

On squad morale:

Atmosphere and mood is good. We were in on Wednesday which we were always going to be. We were off yesterday to get away from the place. That was always the schedule so I wasn't changing things. We had constructive words in terms of criticism on Tuesday night.

This group of players care about the results. Some people might think they dont but they certainly do. I know that what they are doing on the training ground I know what the spirit is like in the dressing room. There is a good feel about the place.

Mick McCarthy and his phone call:

I had a conversation with Mick McCarthy yesterday where he rung me out of the blue and just said ‘look your team did well that game was never a 5-2 game. The difference was that they played well and took their chances, we made a few basic errors but you have got your team playing for you.’

Queens Park Rangers v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Mick Mac gave Simon a lovely phone call after his team destroyed us on Tuesday
Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

We allowed Ipswich too much room and time to go and play balls into the box and get turned and ask questions of us. We need to bit a braver and get up against people and stop the opposition from playing.

On needing to stop the rot:

Ultimately we want to win a football match. We have to stop the rot of results we have had. We need a positive performance whether that is a draw or a win. And then we have two weeks to do some work with the players. That sounds good in practice but ultimately we are going to have eight away on international duty.

On criticism:

The other night at 2-1 their goalkeeper makes a fantastic save. Mick is talking to me yesterday again - at 4-2 we looked like we were gonna get the next goal and they were going to be hanging on. He was worried in that last 15 minutes where we actually had them on the ropes - then we gave a daft goal away again. We know what we need to do.

Anyone who is having any doubts about any of us we can stick two fingers up to and say look we care about this club and we are here to get results. There is no way you can through a season without suffering any disappointment and we are suffering disappointment at this moment in time. Are we good enough? Certainly are. Am I good enough? Certainly am. We are all caring about this situation.

Ruiter or Steele?

Steele was not to blame for any of the goals. What is to say Robbin Ruiter would not have conceded them goals? The portion of the blame goes to the outfield players who did not stop the opportunities.

On Marc Wilson’s injury:

Willo will be out, he has been suffering with a bit of a groin injury over the last 10 days or so. He will be one of the only ones unavailable on Saturday.

What can we expect from Preston?

What they are is a hard working team they have got a lot of energy. They are a young youthful team who play with a real desire and hunger. They have legs, they have energy in the team. They have got some good quality. They are not up in the top of the division by chance. I know their strengths and weakness and hopefully that will play to our advantage.

Does Grayson regret taking this job?

No, I have lived my life without any regrets. I would have had regrets if I had not taken this job. That is how I look at things. I had opportunities to leave Preston many times while I was there, but it was not the right time to leave. When the Sunderland job became available I thought this was too big an opportunity for myself not to turn down. I have no regrets leaving.

On fans moaning:

I was not part of anything that has happened at this football club from coming in the door. What I have been part of has happened since then and I have been trying to change the mentality of the training ground and the people that work here, the players, the supporters and there is a lot of frustration built up over a number of years. But what we can effect is the future.

Results like this will bring people out the woodwork who are moaning and complaining and have probably never been to Ipswich on a Tuesday night or not really been up and down the country. On the other side there is a lot of supporters who have done and have a right to voice an opinion but we have got to be positive in our approach in everything we are looking to do.

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