Simon Grayson reveals what went wrong at Sunderland as he looks to get back into management at Championship side
Simon Grayson has lifted the lid on why it went wrong for him at Sunderland AFC.
Grayson lasted just 15 games at the Stadium of Light, sacked within minutes of the 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers after just one league win in three months.
The 47-year-old Yorkshireman has been speaking about his short spell on Wearside and insists he has no regrets about swapping Deepdale for Wearside in the summer.
He is looking to get back into management at Championship level and has offered some insight into why it went wrong for him at Sunderland.
Grayson, who has since been replaced by Chris Coleman, told Sky Sports that taking charge at Sunderland was a "great opportunity" and one he couldn't turn down.
Grayson said there was a significant chunk of the squad, seven or eight players, still suffering the consequences of relegation from the Premier League and struggles in recent seasons.
He highlighted that as a key factor, saying the club's troubles on the pitch were as much to do with the mental side.
Grayson told Sky Sports: "We tried to do what we have always tried to do - turn the training ground into a vibrant place where players would enjoy coming to work.
"We did that but there was this hangover that had been there for so many years at the Stadium of Light.
"After the first pass goes astray there is an anxiety that creeps in. It goes back a long way.
"I think we had a good squad, it was more of a mental issue with some of the players.
"One of the problems at Sunderland is that there are seven or eight of them who are still suffering the consequences of what has happened over the past two or three years.
"They need to overcome that hurdle in order to turn the negativity into positivity.
"The new players were fine because they were not having to carry that baggage with them.
"But as the results continued, they got dragged into that negativity that was around the place.
"Eradicating that mental hangover for an individual is difficult. If you are trying to do that with seven or eight players it is a really tough task."
Grayson, who constantly tweaked his formation and team in his final weeks in charge, admitted to mistakes he made during his time in charge.
He added: "The goalkeepers, for example, we kept chopping and changing them.
"In an ideal world you want your back five to be the same week in and week out and we were not able to do that.
"We had a lot of injuries and Chris [Coleman] has already suffered the same.
"That was a factor in our results, but basic mistakes were costing us as well and affecting our confidence. Ultimately you are judged on your results and they were not good enough."
Grayson, who says he is not a 'firefighter' and his strength lies in building football clubs, is keen for a quick return to management, adding: "In an ideal world, I would like to get back in at Championship level.
"That is where I have shown I am capable of managing.
"Unfortunately, I am going to have to see somebody lose their job but we all know as managers that they are the circumstances."