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Roker Roundup: Former Sunderland striker turns down AOL return, and Grigg’s misfiring.... again

Will Grigg’s goals have dried up, but it’s not his fault...

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Misfiring Grigg backed by manager

On-loan Sunderland striker Will Grigg had a great start to his spell with MK Dons, scoring three goals and picking up three assists in his first six games.

Since then, the goals have dried up and he has not had a hand in a goal in the past nine games but MK Dons’ manager Russell Martin has placed the blame on the goal drought on Grigg having to play up front on his own.

Speaking to the MK Citizen ahead of today’s game against Portsmouth, Martin praised the Northern Ireland international’s movement and said his side know what to do to make themselves a threat in front of the opposition goal:

Griggy hasn’t had a regular run of games so we are getting him up to speed. Cammy’s pace and power is a miss. Griggy’s movement is fantastic and offers another threat, he’s not really done the one by himself.

It’ll come, I have no doubt about that. We got criticised for it, but we’ve scored a lot and have a high amount of touches in the box. We started to look solid defensively, even Tuesday they score each shot on target. We know what we need to do to threat the opposition goal.

Gillingham v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Bridges on potential AOL role

Former Sunderland forward Michael Bridges has been featured in the latest issue of FourFourTwo magazine and revealed he had the opportunity to return to Sunderland in the last year.

Bridges said that he had the chance to work in the academies of both Sunderland and Leeds United but instead decided to concentrate on being around his family due to the pandemic.

As he is working in Australia currently as a pundit, Bridges joked that it would have to be a great offer to give up his current life style:

I could have worked as an academy coach at Leeds and Sunderland. In the end, I decided that with the pandemic around, it wasn’t the best time to take up a role like that.

I think I’ll wait a couple of years until our twins turn 16, unless an offer comes that’s too good to turn down. But with the life style we have out here, believe me, it would have to be a great offer!

FOOTBALL - STOKE V SUNDERLAND Photo by Rui Vieira - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

‘More emphasis on winning’

Sunderland academy product Coleby Shepherd currently turns out for non-league outfit Whitby Town, and even scored against Sunderland under-23s earlier in the season as Whitby won 2-0 at the Academy of Light.

Shepherd recently had a loan spell at North Shields to gain much needed game time, and the midfielder explained to the Whitby Gazette how playing at the various youth levels for Sunderland differs from Northern League action for North Shields:

Non-league is certainly a lot different to what I was used to in my youth days.

It’s a lot more physical and there’s a lot more emphasis on winning, which was not the case at Hartlepool and Sunderland where it was just about developing players.

You don’t have to win playing nice football, but just do whatever you can to get the win.

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