Simon Grayson reveals when alarm bells started ringing at Sunderland

Former Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has revealed the alarm bells starting ringing just two days after taking over at the Stadium of Light.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 9:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:35 pm
Simon Grayson was sacked by Sunderland in October 2017.

Grayson took charge on Wearside in the summer of 2017 but only lasted a few months before being dismissed at the end of October, with the club battling relegation.

The 49-year-old recently admitted he wasn't happy with the way he was portrayed in the recent Netflix documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die.

And, while appearing as a pundit on BT Sport, Grayson expanded on his short spell in the North East.

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"After about two days," said Grayson when asked when the alarm bells started ringing.

"The problem was that we had players there who didn't want to be there, players there who were earning a lot of money who didn't have the drive, the determination to really want to go and run through a brick wall week in week out.

"Also some of the players had the baggage of relegation, a losing mentality and you couldn't get rid of them because: One, some of them weren't good enough but two, some of them were on too much money and long-term contracts.

"I went in there and took in £45million worth of transfers and brought in 12 new players for £1million, a club like Sunderland you'd think you'd get a little bit more.

"You saw the owner was wanting to sell, wanting to get out and the best thing that probably happened was a new owner has gone in, there's a new lease of life.

"Last week they had 8,000 away supporters, they had 46(000) for a home game on Boxing Day, it's a massive football club and it just didn't work out for myself and Chris Coleman."

Grayson, who was sacked after a 3-3 draw with Bolton, doesn't believe he and his staff got the airtime to show their personality in the Netflix documentary, which showed Sunderland's disastrous 2017/18 campaign.

Following a brief spell at Bradford last season, Grayson is looking to get back into management and hopes people will remember his achievements before he took the Sunderland job.

"I think people within the game realise what I did before I went to Sunderland," said Grayson, who's won four promotions during a 14-year spell in management.

"When you talk about going to Sunderland people within the game know that it was a real tough job and a tough gig to go to.

"I had 15 games and got sacked, Chris Coleman had 31 and couldn't keep them in the division but I don't regret going.

"If I'd not gone and someone had got the club back to the Premier League it was a massive club, it's an ex-Premier League club.

"But there was so many underlying problems that people didn't have a clue what was going on and I didn't until I got in there and saw what I was doing.

"I gave up a good job of four-and-a-half years at Preston, with a fantastic owner who was debt free, we'd finished 11th, we had a group of players who were really, really talented."