IT might restrict his own opportunities in the first team, but Will Grigg is hoping the depth of Sunderland’s attacking firepower will be the key to winning promotion this season.

As well as being able to call on Grigg, Charlie Wyke and Chris Maguire to fill the forward positions, Jack Ross can also name Marc McNulty in his starting line-up, with the Scot having signed on a season-long loan from Reading this summer.

The quartet have already shared eight goals between them in all competitions, and while last weekend’s defeat at Peterborough United was something of a shock to the system, Sunderland still headed into the international break just three points adrift of League One leaders Ipswich Town.

They have scored nine goals in their opening six league games, with Grigg confident their attacking options will set them apart from their promotion rivals.

“To be fighting at the top end of the table, and for promotion like we are, you need your strikers to be in form,” said the Northern Irishman. “Looking at the three we’ve got (Grigg, Wyke and McNulty), they would probably get in any side in the league. It’s a massive positive for us, and that’s something that will benefit us throughout the season.

“It’s one of those things, there’s going to be pressure for us and obviously everyone wants to play. Whether we play a one or a two, everyone wants to be on the pitch at the same time. There’s that personal pressure and from the club as a whole. It’s only good for the boys, a bit of competitiveness.”

Grigg has been the one missing out on plenty of occasions already this season, with the opening-day draw against Oxford United the only league game he has started.

He highlighted the quality of his finishing as he scored Sunderland’s equaliser in their Carabao Cup win at Burnley though, and while Ross might have leaned towards Wyke and McNulty when selecting his starting side in League One, the Black Cats boss has always been quick to talk up Grigg’s qualities.

By his own admission, the 28-year-old has struggled to hit peak form since making a £3m move from Wigan Athletic in January, but having ended a 13-game goal drought at Turf Moor, he remains confident he will prove a success at Sunderland.

“The manager has been brilliant from day one,” said Grigg. “He’s always been brilliant with me. From my end, it’s always been difficult because he put a lot of faith in me and I didn’t quite repay him last season.

“It’s one of those things, football – it’s not easy, it’s not black and white and it doesn’t always work like that. But I have nothing but positive things to say about the manager, and hopefully I repay him for that this season.”