Two-time FA Vase winner relishing challenge of helping Sunderland West End

Two-time FA Vase winner Keith Graydon is relishing the challenge of helping Sunderland West End realise their ambition after he was confirmed as part of their new management team.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 11:53 am
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The former Morpeth Town and Spennymoor Town midfielder will work alongside Steven Stewart after they were chosen to succeed Darren Liddle as the club’s new joint-managers.

The duo will take over a West End side that are sat in the bottom four of the Northern League Division Two table after they collected just three wins from their opening 12 games of the season.

Graydon admitted that both he and Stewart have been assessing a number of options as they look to help their new side move away from the relegation zone in the league’s second tier.

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Graydon told The Echo: “I have pushed for the appointment for the last two or three weeks and they were looking to hang on until after the lockdown.

“We are already looking into what we need to do with the squad, and we have been working hard.

“Living in Sunderland, we both know quite a number of the players already, so we have already looked at where we need to develop the squad.

“We want to give the lads a chance to show what they can do, but we will also look to add to what we have

“The club has a lot of ambition, and we have to do what we can to match that.”

Graydon and Stewart are due to get their reign underway with a visit to Division Two basement club Durham City on the first Saturday of December.

That will mean that they will have just one training session with their newly-inherited squad before the game at Hall Lane.

Graydon described the game as a “six-pointer” as his side look to take their first steps away from the relegation battle.

“We have spoken to the board about the target for the season and we know that the top four go up this season.

“We are 12 or 13 points off those places, and we would love to hit the ground running to try and get up there - but the immediate aim is to improve the form and get away from the bottom of the table.

“Durham City is a six-pointer at the moment, it’s a good game to have but it’s a massive banana skin for us too.

“If we had two or three weeks to work with the players, it wouldn’t be too bad, but, as it is, we won’t, so we just have to get on with it.”

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