Simon Grayson admits he's under pressure to win next two Sunderland games

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson knows he has to deliver an immediate improvement in results ahead of two crucial home games.

The Black Cats boss is under increasing pressure after just one win in thirteen this season. His side are unbeaten in three but with the club still yet to register a home win in 2017, games on Wearside against Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers are seen as pivotal.

Grayson insists he has come through similar situations before and will do so again.

He said: “I’ve got a lot of belief in myself that we are doing the right things, and we aren’t too far away from turning these performances into more positive results.

“As for pressure, there’s more pressure that I put on myself because I want to turn this club around – that’s why I came here in the first place,” he added.

“There’s pressure because of these next games, and I’m not daft – I know we have to start winning games for everyone’s benefit.

“I’ve had some tough times where we haven’t got results, and I’ve come out the other side.

“There have been occasions at Preston last year, and in League One as well, where I was under pressure to get results but I came through it and I was there for four-and-a-half years.

“I know what is required to get us through this sticky spell.

“It’s not through any lack of effort or hard work on my part or the players, we just need the breaks to get us to where we want to get to.”

Part of Grayson’s confidence comes from the return of Lewis Grabban and Duncan Watmore, giving him arguably the best attacking options he has had this season.

Both were influential at Griffin Park as Grabban took his tally for the season to an impressive five from seven games.

Grayson said: “There is [more pace in the team]. You want creative players and you want players who will give the opposition a really tough time.

“We’ve scored six goals in the last three games which is a positive, but the other side of it is that we need to sort things out at the other end of the pitch.

“At least if you are scoring goals, you have a chance of winning games,” he added.

“We have players who can go and win games for us, which is a key part.

“You’re being positive in your approach which is important from the players’ point of view, and from my perspective.”

Grayson was speaking at the club’s first ‘fanfest’, something which chief executive Martin Bain intends to turn into an annual event.

The Black Cats boss echoed Bain’s sentiment that results will be crucial to changing the mood on Wearside, but said he will cotninue to try and engage with supporters.

He said: “I think so [takes time to improve things]. This club has been in a difficult position for the last few years and we are trying to do as much as we can both on and off the pitch to try and create some really positive atmospheres and environments.

“It’s not just occasions such as today, myself, Martin and the players, are out in the community doing Q&As and other things because we want to get people back onside because of what it can lead to in the future.”