Simon Grayson: Whirlwind week but it feels like I've been at Sunderland for years

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson admits his first week at Sunderland has been a ‘whirlwind’ – and he feels as if he’s been in the job years, not days.

The Black Cats boss rounds off seven days in the job with tonight’s friendly against Bury.

That came after he’d jetted off to Austria for a five-day training camp just 24 hours after being unveiled as Sunderland’s new manager.

Grayson admits he’s barely had time to catch his breath as he’s not only got to know his squad, but also hit the phone in a bid to add new players to the ranks.

But he’s pleased with the attitude and application he’s seen so far from the team.

“It’s been a whirlwind four or five days. It feels like I’ve been here three years already.

“I’ve been constantly on the phone trying to do some deals, getting to know the players, getting to know my staff.

“We’re not the finished article with the squad and what we’ve been doing, it’s all about the fitness levels.

“(Austria was) a very good trip and the players have enjoyed it.

“It is never easy doing pre-season but there is no easy way round it.

“You have got to work hard because it gives you a base for the rest of the season. I think the first 10 days of pre-season are always the toughest.

“Once you get into the games the players can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel but everything we have asked them to do they have accepted it and got on with it.

“They have given it their maximum.”

Sunderland travel to Edinburgh on Sunday for their second friendly where they will take on SPL outfit Hibernian.

Grayson hopes his numbers will be boosted by the likes of John O’Shea, Didier Ndong, Brendan Galloway and Jeremain Lens, who have been training at the Academy of Light after not travelling to Austria.

“We know we’re short on numbers at this moment in time with the squad," he told

“We’ve got a few players back at the training ground who will probably be available for the Hibs game so I’ll be delighted to see them and see what condition they’re in.

“Obviously there’s new additions who we will hopefully be having on board very soon and other players over the coming days and weeks.

“So it’s all about moving forward. We’re not going to be the finished article.

“It is all about progressing and moving forward both on the pitch and off the pitch but what we have done so far I am pleased with.”