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Former Sunderland gaffer Grayson takes over at Bradford; bad manager, or simply unlucky?

Simon Grayson has taken over the post at League One side Bradford City following the sacking of Stuart McCall - his first since leaving Wearside. Taking his record at that level into account, is he likely to be a success or will his horror stint in charge of Sunderland continue to plague his fortunes?

Bradford City v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Simon Grayson has taken on his first role in management since leaving Sunderland back in October, joining up with League One promotion hopefuls Bradford City alongside his long-time assistant Glynn Snodin.

The pair were relieved of their duties immediately following our 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season, and have been without a club ever since.

Though the Bantams are sat in sixth place in England’s third tier, they haven’t won a game since New Year’s Day and prior to yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Bury had been on a concerning run of six consecutive defeats - a string of poor results which earned Bradford favourite Stuart McCall the chop.

Grayson’s stint in charge of Sunderland is a mere blot on his relatively impressive lower league career in management, having managed promotion out of League One on four separate occasions. It’s entirely feasible that, in a fairly damning set of circumstances, Sunderland and Bradford could swap places next season or could even be playing in the same division.

In truth though the former Preston North End gaffer was always going to find his way back into management sooner rather than later, and it would appear that his insistence of sitting back and waiting for the right job to come around has paid off.

It had been thought that Grayson wanted to wait for a Championship vacancy to arise, but you have to concede that returning back to West Yorkshire in order to manage another big club is a good opportunity for him to resurrect a reputation that had been severely damaged by what was an utterly catastrophic stint in charge of Sunderland.

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Quite how much of Sunderland’s early-season failings were down to his unsuitability for the job is entirely up for debate - though, having witnessed just how difficult Chris Coleman has found it since replacing Grayson it would be fair to assume that there aren’t many managers out there that would be capable of turning our fortunes around.

Which, in my opinion, is why we have to be fair on Grayson when discussing his ability to manage at Bradford. The fact he was an unmitigated disaster at Sunderland cannot be disputed, but by the same token it can’t be forgotten just how good his record is when getting teams promoted out of League One.

He’s not a bad manager, or a bad person - just a nice bloke with good intentions that found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. By adopting a Bradford side who are - despite their awful recent form - in a respectable position with a squad more than capable of achieving promotion, Grayson finds himself taking on a job that will bring nowhere near as much pressure to immediately turn around their fortunes.

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