SIMON Grayson stayed in the job at Sunderland for less than six months and was unable to turn things around like he had hoped, but he has no regrets.

Grayson has spoken for the first time since his sacking at the end of October and has explained how he would have loved to have had more consistency in team selection.

He also wishes he had been able to reproduce the improvement in mood within the dressing room at the Academy of Light training headquarters and onto the pitch when they played at the Stadium of Light.

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But he encountered too many long-standing issues in terms of morale to really make a difference.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Grayson said: “It was a great opportunity to move to the next step in my career. I have no regrets.

“Chris Coleman's attacking approach paid off at Burton - and proved Sunderland are not a one-man team.

“I did not want to look back six months down the line and wish I hadn’t taken the job. Like many managers before me, and I see Chris Coleman has already said the same, I thought that I would be the one to turn Sunderland’s fortunes around.

“When you look at the list of managers who have gone there - Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane, Dick Advocaat, Gus Poyet and many more who I have probably forgotten - nobody has really turned it around completely and made the club successful. There is an underlying current of something but what it is nobody has found out yet.”

Grayson, the former Preston boss, felt the long-standing problems he inherited would have been easier to overcome than they were.

He said: “We tried to do what we have always tried to do - turn the training ground into a vibrant place where players would enjoy coming to work. We did that but there was this hangover that had been there for so many years at the Stadium of Light. After the first pass goes astray there is an anxiety that creeps in. It goes back a long way.

“I think we had a good squad, it was more of a mental issue with some of the players. One of the problems at Sunderland is that there are seven or eight of them who are still suffering the consequences of what has happened over the past two or three years. They need to overcome that hurdle in order to turn the negativity into positivity.

“The new players were fine because they were not having to carry that baggage with them. But as the results continued, they got dragged into that negativity that was around the place.

“Eradicating that mental hangover for an individual is difficult. If you are trying to do that with seven or eight players it is a really tough task.”

The injuries played a key part too, and he couldn’t really decide between the two goalkeepers he had signed, Robbin Ruiter and Jason Steele, who failed to nail down a first-team place.

“We were not able to get a consistency of team selection,” he added. “The goalkeepers, for example, we kept chopping and changing them. In an ideal world you want your back five to be the same week in and week out and we were not able to do that.

“We had a lot of injuries and Chris has already suffered the same [with Duncan Watmore facing a long spell out following a cruciate knee ligament injury]. That was a factor in our results, but basic mistakes were costing us as well and affecting our confidence. Ultimately you are judged on your results and they were not good enough.”