Sunderland lunchtime round-up: Grayson dissects attacking problems, plans for Watmore and vows to win over fans

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.

That Sunderland had a quarter of the shots against Sheffield United as they did against Derby County on the opening night of the season sums up the regression in their attacking play.

It, of course, goes even deeper than that simple but telling statistic, the Black Cats insipid against the Blades and creating no notable opportunities aside from Jack Rodwell’s late consolation.

Simon Grayson made no attempt to play down the problems ahead of a crucial game against Nottingham Forest, important not just from the perspective of the Championship table but as part of his attempt to reverse a quickly declining mood amongst the Sunderland support.

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Simon Grayson won’t rush Duncan Watmore back from injury despite his side’s continued attacking woe.

The Black Cats have lost three consecutive games, scoring only one goal in the process, and have at times been one-dimensional in their attacking play.

Watmore’s return will add crucial pace to the side and Grayson said he is likely to use him both in the wide areas and also as a central striker.

“A bit of both, I’ve always been flexible, you saw on Saturday different formations throughout the game,” he said.

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Simon Grayson has no issues with the audible frustration at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, but remains confident that he can get Sunderland’s support back on side this season. Chants of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ followed Clayton Donaldson’s second goal for the Blades, and while insists he can improve the mood in time, he is aware he is working against a backdrop of anger at the club’s long and short-term struggles. “I’m never going to criticise supporters for voicing their opinions,” he said.

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