Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Faces and Voices Change for the Better

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Faces and Voices Change for the Better

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER Sports Writer stuart.rayner@trinitymirror.com @sturayner

SIMON Grayson felt Sunderland needed a different voice on the training ground this month, but it is the new faces in the team he is most excited about.

Grayson has drafted Billy McKinlay onto the coaching staff since assistant Glynn Snodin was taken ill, and he has been heartened by the extra options he is getting through the improving fitness of some of his players.

Duncan Watmore made his first start of the season at home to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, while August signings Jonny Williams and Callum McManaman came off the bench as they build up their match fitness. Meanwhile, Josh Maja and Paddy McNair are on their way back from knee injuries with the under-23s.

Grayson explained the thinking behind McKinlay's temporary elevation from scout to coach.

"Glynn's been off poorly since the Hull game," he told the club's official website. "We've managed in between but it got to the stage where I felt we needed a different voice - someone to offer their eyes and ears and to see things from a different perspective.

"Ultimately, as well, he's very knowledgeable. He played at a good level and has been at some good clubs and coached under some very good managers.

"He gives us a different perspective, looks at different things and he's working as hard as anybody to turn the draws and defeats into victories that we're all craving for."

Watmore's substitute appearance at Preston North End was his first senior football since damaging his cruciate knee ligaments in December, and he followed it with a start against QPR. Even notwithstanding Lewis Grabban's return from a hamstring injury, Grayson has more attacking options.

"Duncan can play anyway across the front three because he's such a versatile player," Grayson (right) pointed out. …

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