Sunderland boss discusses Darron Gibson's performance and Grant Leadbitter transfer speculation

Darron Gibson.
Darron Gibson.
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Sunderland boss Simon Grayson praised Darron Gibson for his performance in the 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Bury FC.

It was Gibson’s first appearance since his now infamous outburst that was captured on video where he criticised several of his Sunderland teammates.

The video went viral with Sunderland again making national headlines for the wrong reasons.

With Lee Cattermole rested ahead of the Sunday lunchtime trip to Norwich City, Grayson handed Gibson a start and the former Everton man excelled in the middle.

Gibson was arguably Sunderland’s man of the match, though goal hero George Honeyman ran him close with a barnstorming second half performance.

Grayson praise Sunderland’s midfield duo of Gibson and Didier Ndong and said the Republic of Ireland international answered some of the questions surrounding him.

"I was pleased with Darron in the midfield area, Didier too," said Grayson.

"Darron answered a few questions as well, maybe a few will have wondered why he was in the team and I thought he put on a performance."

Sunderland have added seven new faces to their squad so far this summer and boss Grayson said the work goes on behind the scenes to bolster the squad further.

When pressed on whether there were any updates, Grayson said: "No updates. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. I am trying to focus on the games.

"Nothing new to report other than players wanting to come and us trying to sign them."

One of the players linked with Sunderland in recent days is Middlesbrough midfielder Grant Leadbitter, the Boro skipper has a year left on his current deal.

Sunderland have an interest in him but Middlesbrough are understood to be keen to keep hold of him.

Grayson was giving little away but confirmed he had not spoken to Boro about Leadbitter, adding that Sunderland have been linked with a host of players.

"He (Grant) is part of a group of players being linked with us all the time," added Grayson.

"At this time I have not spoken to Garry. He is a Sunderland boy who has been at the club before but he is just one of a number of names we are being linked with all of the time."

Boro boss Garry Monk was asked about the situation at his pre-match press conference yesterday but described the talk as speculation.

He said: "I don’t really need to talk about speculation. I only deal with facts. I am not concentrating on speculation."