New Sunderland manager Lee Johnson believes he can relight the Will Grigg fire

Sunderland’s Will Grigg competes for the ball with Southend United’s Tim Dieng during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Sunderland and Southend United at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Saturday 2nd November 2019. (Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto)

New Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has started Will Grigg in both games he has been in charge of so far, as he looks to get the former Wigan striker back on form.

Despite Grigg’s record as a proven League One goalscorer, he has endured a miserable time in front of goal since his big money move to Sunderland almost two years ago, notching only eight goals in his 59 appearances for the Black Cats.

But the Northern Ireland nternational has started both games since new man Johnson took the helm as head coach, with both parties desperate to see an upturn in the strikers form.

Johnson spoke specifically about Grigg following the Sunderland’s 2-1 win over Oldham in the EFL Trophy. 

He said: “I’ll just keep working with him and keep trying to educate him to what I want, the first half I thought he was slightly out of position in terms of off the ball.

“I understood why because he felt we could win it back and he could get slipped in, and the defender made a great challenge just when it looked like he was in. But it’s a numbers game, and for a centre-forward, you can’t fear keep getting in there.

“Eventually, you’ll get those three or four goals on the spin where you get those little ricochets or a lovely little finish, and all of a sudden the confidence comes back and you dink one over the keeper. Then the fans come back onside and Will Grigg’s on fire again.”