Simon Grayson accepts more Sunderland departures likely but happy with response at Hartlepool

Simon Grayson.
Simon Grayson.

Simon Grayson admits that his squad is likely to suffer further disruption before the season begins, but says he is ready to react to any eventuality.

Reading made a surprise move for Vito Mannone yesterday, with a deal likely to be reached soon.

A number of other players are expected to move on with Grayson as yet unsure of his likely starting side for the season opener against Derby.

The Black Cats now have just three friendly games before then, against Bradford, Scunthorpe and Celtic.

He said: “That’s just part and parcel of it. I knew that when we came to the club and we accept it.

“We have got recruitment in a good place at this moment in time, we’ve got players lined up that if someone goes out we can look to try and bring in. That’s the case right through the squad.”

Grayson also said he was pleased with the reaction of his side following the defensive horror show against St Johnstone.

The Black Cats boss was scathing in his assessment of that performance but felt he got the response he was looking for at Victoria Park.

He said: “When the manager questions the reaction of the previous game you want to see a reaction and you want to see what you have questioned has been put right, and I thought tonight they did that.

“We worked hard yesterday on aspects of playing without the ball that needed to be better in terms of the shape, the organisation, and the desire to stop the opposition.

“We were better on the ball and we are trying to get the balance right of all the key components come the season.”

“Ultimately it is about players doing the best they can with and without the ball, and tonight is a bit more satisfying than Saturday.”