Grayson is de­lighted af­ter Vaughan gets off sickbed to score

Sunday Sun - - Football - James Hunter

GOALSCORER James Vaughan climbed out of his sickbed to an­swer Sun­der­land’s SOS call and help the Black Cats end their run of four suc­ces­sive de­feats, boss Si­mon Grayson re­vealed.

With Lewis Grab­ban side­lined with a ham­string problem, sum­mer sign­ing Vaughan was the Black Cats’ only avail­able se­nior striker, and al­though the for­mer Bury man had been laid low by a sick­ness bug, he played vir­tu­ally the en­tire 90 min­utes of Sun­der­land’s 1-1 draw away at Hull City.

And Vaughan’s re­ward was his first goal for the club, af­ter nine ap­pear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions with­out find­ing the net.

“Vaughan was in bed Thurs­day night and all day Friday with sick­ness and di­ar­rhoea so he was on his last legs in the last 15-20 min­utes,” said Grayson, who even­tu­ally re­placed him with Lyn­den Gooch in the 89th minute.

“But he did ever so well to­day to get off his sickbed and con­trib­ute as he did. I was pleased that he played and got his re­ward with the goal as well.”

On Grab­ban, he added: “He’s go­ing to be out for a few weeks. I’m not go­ing to say how long but it’s weeks rather than days.

“It’s a blow to us be­cause he’s been do­ing well and we are not in a po­si­tion where we have loads of bod­ies to fill that po­si­tion.”

Vaughan’s goal came just af­ter the quar­ter-hour mark and, with Sun­der­land un­able to add a sec­ond, they were forced to de­fend for much of the sec­ond half.

And they held out un­til the 82nd minute, when for­mer Black Cat David Meyler’s shot de­flected off Lamine Kone past Rob­bin Ruiter.

“We wanted to get that sec­ond goal – [Hull goal­keeper Allan] McGre­gor made a great save from Cal­lum McMana­man, we had a two-on-two with Ge­orge Honey­man and Vaughan which we didn’t take ad­van­tage of,” said Grayson

“Some­times you have to see games through with what you have on the bench, but we don’t have that strength in depth at this mo­ment in time.

“But in an­other week, 10 days, two weeks or so when we have Dun­can Wat­more and Ai­den McGeady back, it will give us those ex­tra op­tions from the start and bench.”

Grayson was un­der­stand­ably dis­ap­pointed to drop two

points in the fi­nal 10 min­utes, but he was en­cour­aged by the per­for­mance which was an­other step for­ward af­ter their im­proved show­ing in de­feat against Not­ting­ham For­est in mid­week.

He said: “Over­all, I was dis­ap­pointed, but pleased as well.

“The first 45-60 min­utes, we were very com­fort­able and dom­i­nated the ball, cre­ated some good chances and got the goal, I thought we played well.

“We didn’t al­low too many chances against us in that spell, but you know that they are go­ing to come out and put you un­der some pres­sure at some stage.

“To with­stand that pres­sure as we did was pleas­ing, it showed the char­ac­ter in the group, but ul­ti­mately the pres­sure told and they equalised with a de­flected goal.

“I think if we’d got the sec­ond goal, we would have gone on to win the game. It was pleas­ing that we built on the per­for­mance of Tues­day night when we played well and got noth­ing.

“We could have quite eas­ily crum­bled un­der the pres­sure to­day and lost the game.

“We had to do what­ever is re­quired to break that cy­cle of four straight de­feats, and a point against a good team is a start.

“In the fi­nal 20 min­utes, we didn’t pass the ball and re­tain it as well as we can do. You have to give Hull some credit for that, [Jar­rod] Bowen and [Kamil] Grosicki are prob­a­bly two of the most tal­ented play­ers in this di­vi­sion at times.

“I think we just ran out of steam a lit­tle bit. The likes of McMana­man and [Jonny] Wil­liams were very ef­fec­tive in the first half, but the week caught up with them in the fi­nal 20 min­utes, they didn’t re­ally have the legs to keep it go­ing.

“You want to make sub­sti­tu­tions like-for-like, but we didn’t have the strength in depth to do that. I wanted us to be se­cure, but I also wanted us to have op­tions to go for­ward; we didn’t quite have that.”

One player who will make a dif­fer­ence when fully fit is Wat­more, who re­turned to ac­tion yes­ter­day af­ter nine months out of ac­tion with a cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in­jury. He played 45 min­utes for the U23s at Man City, win­ning and scor­ing a penalty in a 2-2 draw.

“Dun­can played to­day and won a penalty and con­verted it for the U23s, which is pleas­ing,” said Grayson. “He will be im­por­tant for us when we get him back.”

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