Simon Grayson’s two ‘deputies’ who can sort out any dressing room unrest at Sunderland

Lee Cattermole and John O'Shea
Lee Cattermole and John O'Shea
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As there is still great uncertainty about who will be here and who won’t when the transfer window shuts, it must make things incredibly difficult for Simon Grayson to make plans or even know what his regular team will be in September.

Also, if Darron Gibson is to be believed, there are individuals in the dressing room who want out which can’t help team morale.

For any manager that joins a new club he needs allies in the dressing room, people he can trust and Sunderland have two players I believe have all the right attributes to help the new boss implement his plans and philosophies – John O’Shea and Lee Cattermole.

Last season one of the reasons Sunderland went down was a lack of battlers in the team, too often we were out muscled and far too lightweight and it was no coincidence that Cattermole was mostly missing through injury.

Catts is a street fighter and can drive his team-mates on, I have always believed we are a better team with him in it.

O’Shea, although completely different, is also a leader and Grayson would be wise to use the knowledge his two most experienced players have of the club to his advantage.

I can see those two being Grayson’s deputies on the field and crucially key figures off it as both have vast experience, virtually all of it in the top flight and any new manager always needs good senior pros setting the right example to the younger players.

I think both Cattermole and O’Shea have the respect of the fans as they recognise that even if they aren’t the greatest centre half and midfield player to play for the club – they have the right character, professionalism and care for the club and by having those qualities they are respecting the supporters in return.

Sunderland fans will forgive players if they make a mistake or are out of form as long as they see total commitment.

But if there is any player unwilling to buy into that or who thinks he is better than the club he should be proud to represent they are not needed as we now need everybody pulling in the same direction.