Dons favourite Grigg still out of favour at Sunderland

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson questions Grigg’s “commitment to regular professionalism”
Will GriggWill Grigg
Will Grigg

The saga of Will Grigg’s Sunderland career continues to rumble on with manager Lee Johnson admitting he ‘still has a lot to do’ to be a part of their fold ahead of the game with MK Dons on Saturday.

Grigg spent the second half of last season at Stadium MK on loan, scoring eight goals in 20 games - the same number of goals he has netted in 60 outings for the Black Cats.

Dons were understood to be keen on a move for the 30-year-old, but were priced out by Sunderland and have since signed Mo Eisa for a club record fee, and loaned Max Watters and Troy Parrott to bolster their front line.

Grigg has been a long-time fan favourite at Dons after his first loan spell with the club helped them to promotion in 2014/15. His second spell came behind-closed-doors, but many had hoped Dons could secure his signature at long last. That though looks a long shot with three weeks before the transfer window shuts.

Grigg had also been linked with a return to Wigan Athletic too, but the Latics have also spent big this summer in bolstering their front line - namely Grigg’s Sunderland team-mate Charlie Wyke - leaving the striker with precious few options available to him other than at the Stadium of Light.

And Sunderland manager Lee Johnson said Grigg needs to ‘commit more’ in training to give himself a chance of playing regular football in the north east.

“I think Will has got a bit to do to be honest with you,” Johnson told the Sunderland Echo. “He’s a good player, you can see the balance and technique, the finishing and quality.

“Where Will is he’s going to need to commit more in his actions and his training, that comes with having to be at your best at every minute of every day and we very much demand that quality.

“I wouldn’t say his desire because he definitely has desire but it’s that commitment to regular professionalism at the highest level.”