Simon Grayson press conference: Lamine Kone back for Brentford but key Sunderland midfielder a doubt
Lamine Kone has recovered from illness and will be fit for the trip to Brentford - but Jonny Williams is nursing a tight hamstring.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has been speaking at the Academy of Light ahead of Saturday's Championship clash.
Grayson on injury latest:
"Last Monday [before the QPR game] we looked like we were going to be very strong, but then we lost three centre backs during the week," said Grayson.
"Lamine Kone was ill and Marc Wilson and Ty Browning picked up injuries during the build-up to the game, but at the top end of the pitch we were in good spirits with the players we have coming back.
"Lewis got 45 minutes and Josh got some game time the other night for the under-23s, but we still have a couple of knocks from the weekend.
"Lamine trained on Monday morning, basically he was ill overnight on Thursday so he couldn’t train on Friday and on Saturday he was still unable to play.
"Jonny Williams has a tight hamstring and Ty’s hamstring still, so we’ll assess everyone to see where we are. It’s nice to get the options available."
Easier to play away from home?
"If we get a positive performance at home the crowd will certainly stay with us. Against QPR, at times, we played some decent stuff and they stayed with us.
"There was the odd occasion where there was some rumblings. It is part and parcel of football."
Grayson on Brentford:
"It is a very well run football club. Dean Smith has done very well and they play attractive football, they handle the ball better than many teams.
"As a club they are moving forward, looking to move to a new stadium and have a way of playing and running things behind the scenes.
"We know what we need to do to compact them on the pitch and get a result."
Grayson on return of Lewis Grabban and Duncan Watmore:
"Anybody in this division if you lose a couple of key strikers it will have an impact, that has been the case. It is nice to have them back. Lewis has got a full week's training under his belt.
"The top end of the pitch is where you win games, we haven't had those options available the last few weeks."
Grayson on winning back Sunderland fans after falling attendances:
"The bottom line is winning football matches. To firstly improve the position in the league and secondly to improve attendances and enjoy watching successful football at the Stadium of Light.
"We have got to - and are trying to - improve our performances to bring people back through the turnstiles."
Grayson on form and league table:
"We are not a million miles away from getting the results that some of the performances have warranted.
"There is a good vibe amongst the players. They care and are desperate to do well. It is not a team that has the chins on the floor, they have a spring in their step.
"We are confident in our ability as players and staff to get the results that matter.
"We need to win games to get up the table. It is a not a position we want to be in or are comfortable in.
"We have to earn the right and get the results to justify that. I know what I have within the group and will get results to get us up the division. We are positive in everything that we do."
Grayson on tinkering?
"It is not easy, you would like stability. It is highlighted the first four games of the season when we were unbeaten and picked the same team.
"Through injuries, illness etc we have not been able to do that. When you are not winning matches then you are searching for the winning formula and we are still searching for that.
"Win Saturday then it makes your decision for the following week easier.
"It becomes a habit, a winning mentality. Having a winning mentality can be carried forward as can a losing mentality.
"We have to get into a winning mentality as quickly as possible. We do realise it can change very quickly and the winning mentality can spread quickly."