Former Sunderland midfielder: Why Grayson is a better appointment than Derek McInnes

Kilbane is a big admirer of Grayson
Kilbane is a big admirer of Grayson
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Former Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane has hailed the appointment of Simon Grayson as manager.

Kilbane, who was born in Preston and began his professional playing career at Deepdale, has observed Grayson's rebuilding work at first hand for the past four and a half years.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes turned down the role a fortnight ago but Kilbane believes events could end up working to Sunderland's benefit. The 40-year-old also compared his man-management style to one of the club's most successful managers in the modern era.

He told the BBC: "If you look the track records of both managers, Grayson is a much better appointment.

"Grayson has knowledge of the English leagues and a wealth of experience.

"It is nothing against Derek McInnes. He may go on to excel," Kilbane added.

"It may be something Sunderland regret but, going on past performances, I believe Grayson is head and shoulders above McInnes."

"His track record is excellent. He has got a lot of experience and is very much what you see is what you get,

"Peter Reid was very much in that mould. He will say it as he sees it and that might upset people but, in general, people will respect him for his views.

"I have total admiration for what he has achieved."

Grayson took charge of training for the first time on Friday before he heads off to Austria for a training camp on Saturday. With a number of players having left the club and some still away on international duty, he inherits a threadbare squad in need of major surgery in the coming weeks.

Kilbane has warned Sunderland fans that it may take time for his vision to come to fruition.

He said: "With the appointment coming so late and the lack of time he has got to invest in the squad, time is against him.

"Sunderland fans might not want to hear it but it might be that this is a season of stabilisation.

"We might not see the best of Sunderland in August, September and October. Maybe in December and January he will have had time to get his ideas across.

"After growing up a Preston fan I felt this season was time for Grayson and Preston to kick on and seriously challenge for the play-offs and hopefully for promotion.

"There is a tinge of sadness but I am a realist. I am sure Preston realise that it is a great opportunity for Grayson."