Sunderland boss on Callum McManaman and why the winger has caught the eye ahead of Brentford

Callum McManaman.
Callum McManaman.
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Callum McManaman has caught the eye of Simon Grayson on the training ground ahead of the crunch game at Brentford.

Grayson came in for criticism after leaving deadline day signings McManaman and Jonny Williams on the bench for the 1-1 draw with QPR at the Stadium of Light.

The pair were both lacking match fitness when they arrived on Wearside due to a lack of football and have been working hard at the Academy of Light.

Both came on as second half subs against QPR, with Williams catching the eye.

They are both contenders to start against Brentford and Grayson admits he has been impressed by winger McManaman.

“The international break came at a good time for Callum,” said Grayson.

“He is looking really fit and strong in training and he is certainly in my plans - as he has been from day one - but we have now seen him on a daily basis improve his fitness levels, he has all the skill that has made him the player that he is.

“Jonny is the same, he kept getting a few niggles which ruled him out of a couple of games.

“He looked very bright on Saturday against QPR.

“All these players and options available will certainly help us get results,” added Grayson.

Sunderland are second bottom heading into Saturday’s league game against Brentford, sitting 18th in the Championship and four points clear of the Black Cats.

The hosts will look to dominate possession but Grayson says his Sunderland side will be ready for Dean Smith’s side as they go in search of only their second league win of the season.

Grayson added: “Going to Brentford is a tough place to go, they will try and dominate the ball.

“Dean Smith has his players playing a certain way.

“We will do whatever is required to get that result.

“We know we are not anywhere near where we want to be at this moment in time but let’s be hopeful that in a couple more weeks we are talking about more positive results,” added Grayson.