Sunderland boss Simon Grayson on his transfer ambitions '“ and the link with his Preston old boys

Simon Grayson will look to make quick additions to his Sunderland squad '“ and is likely to target players with Championship experience.
Sunderland's new manager, Simon Grayson. Picture by Frank Reid.Sunderland's new manager, Simon Grayson. Picture by Frank Reid.
Sunderland's new manager, Simon Grayson. Picture by Frank Reid.

New manager Grayson took training for the first time yesterday and will fly out with his Black Cats players to Austria for a training camp this morning.

The squad is threadbare and, while Grayson will take time to assess, he does hope to make some swift acquisitions – with the Championship campaign starting in 34 days.

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Grayson said: “We’ll want to do one or two things quite quickly because of the low numbers that we’ve got.

“We’ve got a few players who’ve not come back from international duty yet as well.

“We want to do one or two as quickly as we can, but that still gives me a chance to look at the Under-23s and players in the existing squad.”

With no senior striker on board, Grayson will have to quickly build a new squad and he wants players with the right attitude.

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Championship experience will be favoured, while Grayson also played down fears that he will be a hamstrung by a severely limited budget.

He said: “That will be our line of enquiry into players, players that know it [the Championship].

“They might be 30 years old or 21. They might have been at a big Premier League club and think, ‘right, I want to go and make a career in the game’, with that hunger and desire, and understand what is required.

“I would think they would have that Championship experience.

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“If you look at the four previous clubs I’ve been at, this will be the biggest budget I’ve worked with, but it doesn’t faze me.

“Whatever I’ve been given in the past, I’ve always tried to make sure I get the best value for money, whether it is loans, free transfers or money in the market.

“After talks with Mr Short and Martin (Bain), I’m aware of what we’ve got to spend and what we are able to do.

“Sometimes it isn’t about what you spend, it is about what you bring into the football club to make it successful.”

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Grayson has already been linked with Everton winger Aiden McGeady, who thrived on loan for Grayson at Preston last season. Powerful Middlesbrough-born striker Jordan Hugill has also been linked.

He was coy on those reports, but did not rule out signing from his former club.

He said: “Well, there there you go, two players I’ve worked with before and people have been linked with me.

“Them to have been linked, time will tell if they land on our doorstep.

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“Time will tell whether we go back to Preston, but I’ve got a huge amount of respect for that football club and I don’t want to do too much to harm that.

“I’ve already taken my assistant manager from there, so maybe not too many there.”