PADDY McNAIR is back in the Sunderland mix as Simon Grayson plots a way of finally ending the wait for a win at the Stadium of Light.

McNair has not played for more than a year because of a serious knee injury but, after a couple of appearances for the Under-23s, he is in contention for the visit of Bristol City on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman will not start against the play-off place chasing Robins, but just to have him involved again pleases Grayson as he looks for a lift in terms of results too.

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Grayson, the Sunderland manager, said: “He has trained all this week, made good progress. There’s a possibility he could be involved in the match day squad.

"He is not ready to start a first team game but it is nice to have him around. Any signs of him being near the first team is good for us and for himself because he has had a slow process getting back to fitness.”

In fact Grayson, whose squad has been rocked by injury problems since taking over, will only have Tyias Browning definitely ruled out because of a hamstring problem.

He said: “Most of the lads are available, Marc Wilson has trained all week. Callum McManaman picked up a niggle on Monday but should he be OK. Ty browning is the only one missing. It’s a nice position to be in for a change.”

Sunderland will again attempt to end the long wait for a home win, dating back to December 17 last year when they beat Watford.

After tomorrow’s visit of Bristol City, bottom club Bolton are then up on Wearside on Tuesday so Grayson knows his team can’t afford to go winless from these two because they would be at least level on points at the bottom or even worse.

Grayson said: “We keep talking about it (home form), and the need to be positive in everything we do. Ultimately it’s about what we do on the pitch.

“There has been a good vibe around the training pitch, like there has been since pre-season.

"Now we have to replicate that on the pitch and somewhere down the line the voodoo will be broken. We have to deal with this game first and then Tuesday as well.

“It’s an important period for us, three games in a week. Those three games could really change our season around, we have had positive signs and results in the last three games, hopefully these next three will see a greater points return as well.”