Simon Grayson discusses team changes and Sunderland pressure after latest defeat

Didier Ndong was left out for Darron Gibson last night.
Didier Ndong was left out for Darron Gibson last night.
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Simon Grayson accepts that serious questions will be asked of him and his team after the 5-2 defeat to Ipswich.

Sunderland have now won just one of their opening 10 games and sit third bottom of the table.

Grayson said: “Well we’ve lost and conceded five. We’ve got to roll our sleeves up and do whatever we can to get it sorted.

“I’m not going to sit here and say everything is fine because it’s not, we’re in the bottom three, we’ve been beaten heavily.

“We’ve got to work harder to be ready for Saturday and they’ll certainly be working hard in the two-week break.”

Grayson also said his team changes were merely an attempt to find a successful formula for his Sunderland team.

Key attacking players Aiden McGeady and Callum McManaman returned to the starting XI but Grayson also made changes right across the field.

Jason Steele replaced Robbin Ruiter while Didier Ndong (pictured) was dropped in favour of Darron Gibson, who made his first league start of the season.

Billy Jones also came in at right-back but Sunderland were again exposed.

Grayson said: “When you’re losing games, you just try and make the changes to make something happen and find something that works for you. Jason Steele wasn’t to blame for any of the goals, Robbin Ruiter hadn’t done anything wrong like Jason hadn’t.

“We tried to change things to get a result but the changes we’re making obviously aren’t working at the moment.”

Grayson was critical of his players, accusing them of being a soft touch and saying he would not accept a lack of confidence for their efforts off the ball.

He said he had tried to be constructive in his remarks, though, with a game at his former club Preston on the horizon.

“Tonight it’s been more constructive criticism of what we need to do, obviously there’s been words said, but we have tried to be constructive rather than ranting and raving,” he said. “Everyone in that dressing room is disappointed so I’m not going to shout from the rooftops.”