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Sunderland boss Grayson issues defiant message ahead of season opener

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New Sunderland manager has stated that his side will be a ‘different animal’ during his side’s opening fixture of the Championship season tonight, when they host Derby County, after their humiliating 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Scottish champions Celtic last weekend, as per the Rams’ official website.

Grayson pointed to the fact that it was just one of those days for the Black Cats, compounded by a penalty miss and opposition who were far ahead in their pre-season plans, with two rounds of Champions League qualification already under their belts and claimed that the second tier opener will be a different affair entirely.

“There was a lot of factors behind that [result] (against Celtic). I think Celtic are a very good team and we have seen them playing in Europe this week. They are a long way ahead of us [in their pre-season plans],” Grayson admitted, by way of explanation, but not exonerating his own side from blame, adding,  “We made some basic mistakes, we missed some opportunities and anything that could go wrong did do. It can be a kick up the backside and I think we will be a very different animal for the first game of the season.”

As bullish as he was about his own side’s improvement Grayson also heaped praise on Derby, perhaps in an attempt to ease expectations on his own players, stating, “it will be a tough game because they are one of the favourites for the division.”

The Verdict: 

The first thing to state is that Grayson’s more upbeat outlook will make a welcome change from the downbeat demeanour of former Black Cats boss David Moyes, throughout last season’s relegation campaign.

However, Grayson must realise that his side do have a lot of work to do in order to compete with the elite teams in the division, not least in transforming the attitude of the fans towards the players – although it must be noted that freak results can occur in pre-season, especially when one side is far fitter than the other.

Nevertheless, if I were a betting man, my money would be on Rowett’s men, who look to have a very solid base this season, to come away from the Stadium of Light tonight with all three points.

Sunderland fans – what do you make of Grayson’s comments? Can you get all three points tonight? Let us know below…


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sunderland boss Grayson issues defiant message ahead of season opener

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