Sunderland players slammed for lack of responsibility

Simon Grayson watches on against Cardiff
Simon Grayson watches on against Cardiff

Simon Grayson spoke of his frustration and has called on the players to take more responsibility – after Sunderland dropped into the bottom three in the Championship.

Cardiff City were the latest team to leave Wearside with all three points, winning 2-1 on Saturday, with Sunderland now without a win at home since December 17 last year.

Sunderland have picked up just a point in the last six games. Craig Bryson scored a seventh-minute opener for Cardiff, yet though Lynden Gooch did equalise from the penalty spot in the second half, Lamine Kone gave away a soft penalty in the 73rd minute to allow Joe Ralls to notch the winner from 12 yards.

Grayson said: “Frustrated again. We looked at things and prepared for things. At 2pm, we showed the players the presentation of what Cardiff would do, long balls from the goalkeeper, flick on and showed them everything that Neil Warnock’s team are about.

“Before you know it, six minutes into the game and you are 1-0 down to a goal precisely what we showed them.

“They have to take responsibility, make sure they stay with runners, defend the first ball and do whatever is required to get a result.

“You always know Neil Warnock’s team will work hard and press you. We didn’t do things quick enough, ask questions of them and made poor decision making for both goals.

“Bad decision-making from Lamine and you are 2-1 down. I didn’t think the confidence was affected too much.

“The supporters were good and stayed with the team again. We are making bad mistakes and have to keep learning from them.

“It is relentless in this division – if you make poor decisions you will get punished. Players have to accept that responsibility and learn from the mistakes they are making.”

When asked about Sunderland dropping into the relegation zone, Grayson said: “It bothers me, but it isn’t the biggest thing – it is where you finish at the end of the season.”