Sunderland: Simon Grayson better choice than Derek McInnes, says Kevin Kilbane

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson was the second longest-serving manager in the Championship at Preston

Simon Grayson's wider experience of the English game makes him a better choice as Sunderland manager than previous target Derek McInnes, says ex-Black Cats winger Kevin Kilbane.

Grayson, 47, joined Sunderland on Thursday from Preston North End, another of Kilbane's former clubs.

Earlier in June, Aberdeen boss McInnes turned down the job after talks.

"If you look the track records of both managers, Grayson is a much better appointment," Kilbane said.

The former Republic of Ireland international added to BBC Newcastle: "Grayson has knowledge of the English leagues and a wealth of experience.

"It is nothing against Derek McInnes. He may go on to excel.

"It may be something Sunderland regret but, going on past performances, I believe Grayson is head and shoulders above McInnes."

Grayson perfect for Sunderland fans

Kevin Kilbane
Kilbane played 113 games for Sunderland between 1999 and 2003

Kilbane says Grayson "will fit perfectly into what Sunderland supporters want from a manager", comparing him to Peter Reid, who Kilbane played under at the Stadium of Light.

"His track record is excellent. He has got a lot of experience and is very much what you see is what you get," Kilbane said.

"Peter Reid was very much in that mould. He will say it as he sees it and that might upset people but, in general, people will respect him for his views.

"I have total admiration for what he has achieved."

Grayson's record of promotions

Simon Grayson
Grayson has won promotion four times
  • Grayson takes first job in management at Blackpool in 2005 and leads them to promotion from League One via play-offs in 2007.
  • Becomes Leeds United manager in 2008 and wins promotion to Championship in 2010.
  • Sacked by Leeds in January 2012 before taking over at Huddersfield a month later.
  • Wins promotion to Championship via play-offs with Huddersfield in 2012 but sacked in 2013.
  • Takes over at League One Preston in February 2013 before steering the club clear of relegation.
  • Again wins League One play-off final in 2015.
  • Becomes Sunderland manager in 2017 after back-to-back 11th-placed Championship finishes at Deepdale.

Season of stabilisation for Sunderland

Grayson replaces David Moyes, who resigned in May following the club's relegation from the Premier League.

The club's search for a new manager was put on hold by potential takeover talks, which were called off on Thursday.

"With the appointment coming so late and the lack of time he has got to invest in the squad, time is against him," Kilbane said.

"Sunderland fans might not want to hear it but it might be that this is a season of stabilisation.

"We might not see the best of Sunderland in August, September and October. Maybe in December and January he will have had time to get his ideas across."

Former Preston player Kilbane added. "After growing up a Preston fan I felt this season was time for Grayson and Preston to kick on and seriously challenge for the play-offs and hopefully for promotion.

"There is a tinge of sadness but I am a realist. I am sure Preston realise that it is a great opportunity for Grayson."

Top Stories