HAVING won just one of his Championship matches since taking over, Simon Grayson has often returned home after a match as Sunderland manager frustrated with another disappointing result.

Such frustration has felt even greater when it has been a journey back from the Stadium of Light, where he has yet to guide his team to victory in four matches in front of Wearside supporters.

Grayson is not the first manager to have endured such difficulties at home. After all Sunderland have not won there since December 17 last year – in fact they have claimed three points on home turf in just 17 of their last 80 league games.

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The latest Sunderland manager knows he has to taste victory at the Stadium of Light sooner rather than later, hoping that will be the case when third placed Cardiff City arrive in the North-East this afternoon.

He has had to endure defeats to Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Leeds United at the Stadium of Light so far, having opened the new campaign with a point against Derby last month.

“Probably the frustration has been greater after a home game because you want to show and deliver the results in front of your own fans,” said Grayson.

“We have played quite well in those performances we have had at home so far but only in bit parts, we want to try to carry those over a consistent 90 minutes.

“I would take Saturday as a game where it is scrappy and we nick one at the end, even if we have lost out on every other stat.

“I think the Forest game was a decent enough atmosphere, but we know it would be foolish to bury our head in the sand and it would be foolish to say there’s no negativity around the place.

“Of course there is because there has been for a number of years now. We have not started the season well at home, with the points we wanted, but we know this place can be as positive as any other place in this country when we get going.”

Grayson has staggeringly never managed or played at the Stadium of Light before until this season, but is acutely aware of what sort of atmosphere a full house inside the ground can do for both Sunderland and the visiting team.

He said: “They were always in the lower divisions when I was playing and when I was managing they were always in the higher divisions. The Celtic game was my first game here, I think, unless my memory is going. I played at Roker Park plenty.

“But you do recognise what football clubs are all about, you know the history, knowing about what it can be like. We went to Everton the other night thinking if we can keep the crowd quiet we might get a result and make it difficult. Teams will do exactly the same with us. They will know it can work against you.

“The visiting teams here also know that if we can get our crowd going then they can make it very difficult for the opposition. But it’s the responsibility of the players to do that because they have shown they can make noise at different times in our games so far.”

For Sunderland to end that hoodoo this weekend Grayson knows he needs to outfox opposite number Neil Warnock, who is chasing a record eighth promotion as a manager at the age of 68.

Grayson, who has enjoyed four promotions himself during his managerial career and is 21 years younger, knows exactly what his Sunderland players will have to be ready for – and so will he.

“Neil Warnock loves proving people wrong,” said Grayson. “He loves doing what is required to succeed. He wants to get the record number of promotions before he retires, hopefully I can catch him – I have a few more years on him! Cardiff have started the season really well and we know what they will offer.

“He knows what he is doing, he gets good staff with him. Ronnie Jepson and Kevin Blackwell have gone with him, he has an entourage of players and staff he takes with him because he knows it gets results. That’s what you do.

“He is good for younger managers too. When I started out he would be there when I needed him at the end of a phone if I wanted to chat with him.

“Neil is a good character, he is like Marmite, you either like him or you don’t. Typical Yorkshireman, he knows what he is doing and a lot of credit to him. Hopefully he will be a little despondent on Saturday.”