Sunderland boss Simon Grayson's verdict on 3-0 win and pre-season goalkeeper plans

Stryjek is likely to feature again on Saturday
Stryjek is likely to feature again on Saturday
Have your say

Simon Grayson was pleased to continue moulding his Sunderland squad in an emphatic 3-0 win over Livingston.

The Sunderland boss again fielded two entirely different sides at the Tony Macaroni arena, making nine substitutions around the hour mark.

As has been the case in all three of the the pre-season games so far, the switch saw a subtle change to formation as Grayson looks to build a pragmatic squad capable of moving between a number of systems throughout the season.

The Black Cats are yet to field a three man defence but that is likely to be on show at some point before Derby County arrive for the season opener.

The Livingston game was played at a far slower tempo than the 2-2 draw with Hibernian but there was plenty of encouragement for Grayson.

He said: "The players have had two tough days and trained again this morning [Wednesday] so some of them may be feeling a bit leggy, but that’s what we have to do. Tonight you saw different aspects, the first half we kept the ball quite well and looked quite comfortable, second half we were very potent in terms of the threat from the younger players, the exuberance and the pace and power we had.

"We’re trying to build some partnerships, different formations. You saw in the second half we played with a 4-4-2 rather than the 4-1-4-1. We’ll pick a team for St Johnstone again where the lads need minutes as well as looking at our options."

Grayson also confirmed that Vito Mannone had merely been rested for the game.

The Italian travelled with the side but was not included in the team sheet as young Polish goalkeeper Max Stryjek made his first appearance of pre-season.

Mannone, who has been linked with a move away this summer, will return between the posts when the Black Cats take on St Johnstone on Saturday.

Grayson said: "There was no knock [to Vito], I wanted to give Mika 60 minutes and Max 30. Vito will start on Saturday, Max will probably get another 30, we’re just trying to rotate."