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Simon Says: What was the gaffer’s crack in his pre-Sheffield United press conference today?

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Simon Grayson held his regular pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of Saturday’s game with Sheffield United, giving updates on Duncan Watmore’s return and our deadline day signings.

Simon Says
Roker Report

Simon Grayson spoke to the media today ahead of this weekend’s game against Sheffield United. The Blades come to Wearside in good spirits, but our gaffer is hopeful that we can break our Stadium of Light hoodoo for the season and take all three points. Grayson discusses a Watmore return, our transfer business, Sheffield United and much more! Anyway, enough of me - have a read for yourself below!


New signings in the squad and the transfer window in general

In terms of fitness none of them have played a great deal of football - obviously competitive football recently. But I feel they are all in decent shape. I would think that one way or another all three will be in the 18 on Saturday.

They’ve come in and brought the quality to the group. They have desire and hunger that, and they have also expressed that they wanted to come and try to achieve as well.

There is a brightness about the group now and a lot more strength in depth.

Yeah I am pleased with it, there will be other clubs that have spent more money than us but I knew that would be the case when I came to the club that we had to wheel and deal and get ins and outs. I am more than pleased with the level of quality of what we have brought in. Just because you are not spending a lot of money does not mean you will not get quality players.

Callum McManaman was £5 million a couple of years ago!

That's the way it has to be - players coming here because they want to play. They want to enjoy what they're doing. Ultimately they want to perform and show everybody what good players they are. I do not want players here who are coming for the wrong reasons because this has happened too many times here.

Sunderland Unveil Callum McManaman Photo by Scott Heppell/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Increased squad options

Well I think the strength and depth has certainly increased now. Their flexible players - all of them. Marc Wilson can play anywhere across the back four. Johnny Williams and Callum McManaman can do the same at the top end of the pitch. So, more than pleased with what we’ve got there, obviously Watmore coming back will give us another option and the players aswell that are already here with the recruitment process we have been through.


Duncan Watmore nearing a return

Well we have to be very careful with him because he has been out for such a long time. Now we have that strength and depth there isn’t the urgency to rush him back but from his point of view we will look to get him another weeks training next week and then maybe some involvement in the Man City game with the under 23s. To have him back will be a major boost for us. He has been training with the first team for 2 weeks now.

Sunderland v Leicester City - Premier League
It has been a long road back for Watmore - hopefully his return will lift the spirits of everyone at the club
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

On no home wins for 9 months

We want to win every game we are involved in. What has happened previously is nothing that I can affect. We can affect what is going to happen in the future. We have had some decent performances at home - the Derby game and for 20-30 minutes we were the better team against Leeds.

To be honest I haven't really looked at the league table. It has been a busy schedule. There is a long way to go. It is where you finish, not where you start.


On the transfer window closing before the season starts

Yeah definitely. I have been talking about it for a couple of years now. I think it’s a good thing for us as a manager that you know what squad you’ve got from the first game of the season. I am in total agreement hopefully it gets past.


Sheffield United

Any time a team comes to the Stadium of Light its gonna be a big game for them because of the size of the club and the magnitude of our club as well. We have got to be aware of that and that is something we have to deal with. We have got a huge amount of respect for Sheffield United and Chris Wilder - with what they have done. They’ve got some good players and a lot of momentum.


Good stuff from the Gaffer today - I am feeling a bit more optimistic now for the weekend. Hopefully we can get the season back on track after the disaster at Barnsley two weeks ago!