SIMON GRAYSON has told everyone connected with Sunderland not to dwell on the past as he attempts to get Sunderland on the road to success – and insists “they are not in crisis”.

Grayson is calling for his players to focus on delivering a much-needed home victory in front of the Stadium of Light crowd when Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

Supporters vented their frustration during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Wearside with boos, while a large section even chanted ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’.

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The fans’ anger is understandable given Sunderland have not won a game in front of their own crowd since December, and Grayson is the manager appointed during the summer tasked with changing fortunes on a smaller budget.

Grayson said: “We have to do whatever is required to make it right, the good thing about the Championship is you lose a game and you have another game very quickly.

“We have to learn from Saturday, we need to be as positive as we can be. Let’s hope we get a scrappy win or a 4-0 win or do whatever it is that is required to get a win.

“It is still early days in the Championship, this group of players is still learning about each other.

“When you lose a game you are not happy, I don’t get carried away when we win matches either. I wasn’t carried away when we had a decent start and I won’t get too down now.

“The players came in on Sunday morning, not as a punishment just routine after a game, and we can’t affect what happened on Saturday now but we can affect Tuesday.

“We are a work in progress, we have ten new players, they want to be committed to this club. They are taking time to adjust understanding partnerships on the pitch, we need to play better in both boxes and create more chances.

“When the opposition gets chances, we have to make sure we don’t get punished at the first opportunity. There is nobody hurting more than the players are at the moment, there will be lots of ups and downs. We are not in crisis and everyone has to stick together.”

Scoring goals has been a problem already for Sunderland. Since hitting three at Norwich last month, the Black Cats have scored just twice in the four league games since going into the visit of Forest.

Having signed Jonny Williams and Callum McMananam – who both made first appearances against the Blades despite a lack of first team football this year – Grayson is certain things will improve in the final third.

The Sunderland manager said: “Callum played well when he came on and that’s why we brought him here. Jonny Williams will make us a better team too. We have players who want to make us better and are capable of doing so.

“We have players who have gone. We are learning about each other all the time. We have players who will make us better, and we will be better in the weeks and months ahead, that’s for sure.

“Ultimately goals win games and we haven’t had some creative players available, Aiden McGeady was missing on Saturday, Duncan Watmore is coming back. You want to keep players available. Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams will be key for us. Hopefully they will create and score goals themselves.”

Grayson was keen not to give anything away in terms of his team selection ahead of a home game Sunderland are desperate to win. That meant he didn’t want to reveal too much in terms of the players nursing injuries.

Lamine Kone was described as ‘touch and go’ after limping off with a groin problem against Sheffield United, while he would only say “a few had trained and a few hadn’t” when he was asked about whether Lee Cattermole, Bryan Oviedo or McGeady would return.