Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Soft' Sunderland Must Work Harder; GRAYSON SICK OF EXCUSES AS BLACK CATS FAIL TO IMPROVE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Soft' Sunderland Must Work Harder; GRAYSON SICK OF EXCUSES AS BLACK CATS FAIL TO IMPROVE

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HUNTER Sports writer james.hunter@trinitymirror.com @JHUNTERCHRON

SIMON Grayson admits Sunderland are a 'soft touch', after the Black Cats conceded five at Ipswich Town.

The Wearsiders were thrashed at Portman Road, leaving them stuck in the bottom three of the Championship and without a win in eight league games.

With 10 games gone, Sunderland's season is lurching into a full-blown crisis and Grayson says performances such as this cannot be excused by a lack of confidence.

"We can keep using that word confidence all the time, but to be honest I am sick of using it," he said.

"The players are getting paid handsomely to run around and do what millions of people would love to do. Yeah, you might lack a bit of confidence but it doesn't stop you from running around, stopping the opposition from playing, getting close to them, and getting a tackle in.

"I can accept lack of confidence when you have the ball because that's when it is important, but it's more about an inner desire to make sure you are not a soft touch - and we are at this moment in time.

"It was probably summed up when we went into the dressing room, when one of the younger lads said 'we were soft as s***, far too easy to play against.'.

"The opposition have too much time on the ball, they get two easy goals, when we concede it affects us, we don't do enough to stop the opposition playing.

"At this level in the Championship you have to win the battle, you have to be organised and hard working, and then you can go play.

"We didn't do that tonight. "I'm not saying the players aren't caring, aren't running around, because they are doing that but they aren't doing enough to stop the opposition from playing, and therefore giving us a chance.

"We are making basic, fundamental errors.

"We had a meeting today and spoke about what we needed to do better, highlighted certain situations, but every time the ball went into the box in the first 25 minutes it looked like they were going to score. …

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