SIMON GRAYSON has no second thoughts about deciding to join Sunderland in the summer as his Championship strugglers prepare to face his former club.

Preston are sitting in fifth place under Alex Neil and have carried on the good work and the foundations laid by Grayson during his time at Deepdale.

Grayson will return to his old club for the first time since accepting the challenge of reviving Sunderland over the close-season and both teams have had contrasting starts.

But the Sunderland manager, whose side are in the relegation zone after an eight match winless run, said: “I live my life without any regrets, I would have had regrets if I didn’t take this job that’s how I look at things.

"I had opportunities to leave Preston many times while I was there, but it wasn’t the right time to leave.

“When this Sunderland job came up I thought this was too big an opportunity for myself to turn it down.

"I have no regrets about leaving and I would like to be in a different position in the table now with Sunderland, but I would like to be swapping positions with a lot of other teams. I have no regrets.

“I have confidence that this group will get us further up the table and I am confident in my ability that we can do it.

“When I speak to a lot of other managers, they would have said I made the right decisions and earned the right to take on a club of this size.

"This challenge was not going to happen overnight, I don’t have a magic wand. There are lots of games still to be played.”

Grayson was responsible for leading Preston out of League One during his time there and ensured they consolidated their position in the second tier after that before opting for Sunderland.

He said: “I had four and a half years there, when you go to a club and turn the fortunes around, stabilise them, get promotion, and leave them in a good state, where they finished the last two years, you have to enjoy it. The value of the squad compared to what we spent is also much better than when I first took over.

“I really enjoyed myself there. I had a good affiliation with supporters, the owner, Peter Ridsdale was above me. I had a fantastic time there. Who knows what reception I will get. I will be going there to do what I have to do.”

Sunderland will be missing Marc Wilson with the groin problem that forced him off at Ipswich on Tuesday.

A number of changes are expected by Grayson, who hopes to be able to call on Callum McMananman, Jonny Williams, Aiden McGeady and Duncan Watmore when he considers his match-day squad.