‘He’s the best option for us’: Sunderland boss on ‘unfair’ Jason Steele criticism

Jason Steele is beaten for Bristol City's first goal at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid.
Jason Steele is beaten for Bristol City's first goal at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid.
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Simon Grayson again defended Jason Steele and insists he is Sunderland’s best goalkeeping option.

Steele’s performances have been heavily criticised as the Black Cats conceded yet another set piece goal against Bristol City in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light.

Fellow summer signing Robin Ruiter has not featured since the 2-1 defeat to Cardiff last month.

Grayson said: “I think all the players should be getting stick because we’re not getting results. For Steeley it might be a little bit unfair. He made a great save in the second half.

“He’s not been at fault for either goal – he’s trying to make decisions in terms of when to kick it and when not to because sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

“I see three goalkeepers train every day and, at this moment in time, he’s the better one for us.”

Grayson made two changes to the side which had drawn 3-3 with Brentford, dropping Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman to the bench.

The return of Jonny Williams and a start for Darron Gibson saw Sunderland begin confidently, but that bright start fizzled out alarmingly.

Grayson is set to make further changes for tomorrow’s visit of bottom club Bolton.

He said: “Catts has had [a lot of] games, and I was trying to look for a different dimension to the team.

“Changes were made. They will be made on Tuesday night to get a result.

“All I try to do is be positive with the players. There are far worse things in life than, and in general, than playing in front of supporters at the Stadium of Light.

“The desire and spirit is needed to go and do that. We didn’t get the break (on Saturday). There was a blatant handball from Didier Ndong’s shot but you are clutching at straws.”