Michael Gray believes Sunderland must turn to youth – whoever is appointed as the new manager.
Michael Gray believes Sunderland must turn to youth - whoever is appointed as the new manager.
We have a really good Under 21 squad and we’ve got to try to bring them in and give them that chanceMICHAEL GRAY
The pundit and former Sunderland star says the current team have “failed” and that players from the “really good Under 21 squad” deserve theior chance.
Speaking today in talkSPORT, Gray said: “Kids were always given an opportunity if they were good enough to go into the first team.
“That was always the case.
“When I was coming through, there were seven, eight, nine, 10 players before me and then five or six straight after I got my opportunity.
“Take away Jordan Henderson and Jack Colback, who have left the club, Duncan Watmore has had his opportunity, but apart from that?
“We have a really good Under 21 squad and we’ve got to try to bring them in and give them that chance to show how good they are.
“There is no point really on these [current first team] players every single season because they have failed.
“They have failed for the last five or six years.
“Whoever comes in how can they be turned around and succeed.”
Gray was responding to comments by former striker, manager and chairman, Niall Quinn, who said the club needed revolutionising.
“Niall is 100 per cent right, the problem lies at the foundations,” said the Sunderland-born left-back.
“The foundations have been wrong at the club for so long that everything else around it is just falling to pieces.”
Gray said he was desperate to see the Black Cats come good again.
“I’ve had my rant on Monday about where I think the problems lie,” he said in conversation with presenter Colin Murray.
“I’m only saying these things because I have the club at heart, I’m a supporter like everyone else.
“But I have a voice because I work for talkSPORT and I’m allowed to speak, Niall is in the same position.
“He’s probably done every job at the club, he’s been a manager and chairman as well.
“I thought it was great the way it was ran when he was there.
“He’s never going to go back to the club, he’s just pointing out that Sam Allardyce is the right man for the club.
“I’m being brutally honest, I think if you put Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of what we’ve got at the club right now, I don’t see how there can be progression.”