Lee Johnson gives Will Grigg update after Sunderland striker misses York City draw

Lee Johnson says it's up to Will Grigg to fight his way into the first team for the new season, with the striker's Sunderland future still unresolved.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:45 pm

Grigg had been widely expected to leave Sunderland this summer and may yet still do so, but he has played a full part in the early weeks of pre-season.

The striker was absent on Tuesday night with a virus as Sunderland drew 1-1 with York City, but is understood not to be COVID-19 related.

With the Black Cats yet to seal a replacement for Charlie Wyke, Johnson has three senior strikers currently at his disposal.

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Sunderland striker Will Grigg

Grigg has one year left on his current contract and the Sunderland head coach says the vast majority of his discussions with the striker during pre-season have been on football and what he needs from the 30-year-old.

"We haven't really had too many discussions because he's here and he's under contract," Johnson said.

"While you're here and under contract you've just got to give 100% to get in the team and stay there, and to score goals.

"We have spoken on the football front about what I want from him, and how we need to push him and drive him.

"While he's here, we have a duty of care to every player to ensure we're giving them our absolute best and vice versa."

Wigan Athletic and MK Dons have both shown a strong interest in Grigg this summer, but the former now have a strong strikeforce with the additions of Wyke and Rochdale striker Stephen Humphrys.

MK Dons boss Russell Martin said earlier this summer that he been in dialogue with the striker, but they have since paid what is believed to be a club-record fee for Peterborough United forward Mo Eisa.

Wide positions are believed to be the next priority for Martin but he remains open to further additions.

"We have a few areas we still want to strengthen and that will dictated by how we do over the next few weeks," he said.

"We're open to a few positions and we have clarity in what we want in those. It will have to be someone we're aware of and someone we know what they can do on and off the pitch."

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