Grayson takes Sunderland link with a pinch of salt

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
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Preston boss Simon Grayson says speculation linking him with other jobs is something he takes with a ‘pinch of salt’.

Grayson has been high in the betting for the Sunderland vacancy for the last couple of weeks.

The long-serving Deepdale manager became favourite with the bookies after Derek McInnes turned the Black Cats down.

He had also been linked with the Middlesbrough and Hull jobs, with both posts now filled.

“Managers get linked with other clubs just like players do,” Grayson told the Post.

“If anything, it shows their club is doing well as well as the individual.

“When a team does well, a manager can attract attention.

“If your team wasn’t doing well, you aren’t going to get linked with anywhere else.

“I take anything like this with a pinch of salt and keep on doing the job I’m doing.”

Grayson spoke on similar lines during a radio interview yesterday.

Speaking on Talksport2, Grayson said: “As far as I’m concerned there’s a lot of speculation about a lot of different jobs, but I’m fully committed to working out what we’re doing for the season at Preston.

“I don’t consider it whatsoever until someone says something different, whether it’s Sunderland or any other job.”

Sunderland have put their managerial search on hold while talks are held over the possible sale of the club.

Meanwhile, North End look likely to go ahead with next month’s pre-season friendly at Accrington Stanley despite being paired with them in the first round of the Cabarao Cup.

PNE are due at the Crown Ground on July 19 as part of their pre-season schedule.

The Cabarao Cup (formerly the League Cup) takes place in the first week of the season, most likely August 8.

That will be the first time the sides have met competitively since January 1961 – they played twice in the FA Cup.

After the sides had drawn 0-0 at Deepdale, North End won the replay two days later 4-0.

Grayson is pleased with the make-up of the pre-season programme.

He said: “We are back on June 29 and will get straight into the work.

“There is a good mix of games for us, two of them with Premier League sides in the shape of Newcastle and Burnley.

“Rafa Benitez was quick to agree to the game when I spoke with him at the end of last season.

“We didn’t have the best of times against Newcastle last season.

“With the friendlies, we have made sure the fans are not having to travel very far to watch us, while we have got the two games at home.”