Sam Allardyce believes Simon Grayson was up against it from the moment he left Preston North End for Sunderland.
Grayson’s spell at the Stadium of Light lasted just four months with the Black Cats currently struggling at the bottom end of the Championship after relegation from the Premier League last season.
His replacement is yet to be confirmed with Allardyce, a former PNE player and Sunderland manager, believing the 47-year-old faced an uphill battle to turn things around in the North East after ending his four-year stay at Deepdale.
“When you saw what Simon did with Preston North End, and on a very limited budget, it was obviously good business by the owner to bring him in,” said Allardyce, a former Lilywhites defender and caretaker manager.
“He showed at Preston that he was more than capable of working on very little funds and still having success with a team.
“Unfortunately, the fall-out of being relegated, which I experienced at West Ham, leaves the club in a very difficult position.
“Those lads will be scarred mentally, they’ll obviously want to leave and there’s cut backs, redundancies and sackings which follow.
“That’s tough on everyone, and it makes it almost impossible to get the right mood and spirit back into the club.
“I’m not sure how they’ll do it, but I really hope they do.”
While Grayson contemplates his next move, Allardyce is being strongly linked with taking over at Everton.