Blackpool boss Simon Grayson set for first return to Stadium of Light since Sunderland sacking in 2017

Blackpool manager Simon Grayson is set to return to the Stadium of Light for the first time this weekend since his acrimonious sacking in 2017.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 12:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 12:22 pm
Simon Grayson was sacked by Sunderland in October 2017
Simon Grayson was sacked by Sunderland in October 2017

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Grayson was axed by Sunderland in October 2017 after taking charge of just 18 games on Wearside.

His departure, which was brutally announced barely 20 minutes after a draw with Bolton Wanderers, came just four months after his appointment.

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The 49-year-old left his job at Preston North End to take over the reins at the Stadium of Light, replacing David Moyes who departed after the club were relegated from the Premier League.

Grayson, who won just one league game as Sunderland boss, was replaced by Chris Coleman who was unable to avoid a second successive relegation for Sunderland, who dropped down to the third tier.

At the time of Grayson's sacking, he was the ninth permanent manager to depart the Wearsiders since Roy Keane's exit in December 2008.

His spell at Sunderland was captured on a Netflix documentary, which painted a fractured picture behind the scenes.

Grayson's last game in charge of Sunderland came against Phil Parkinson, who was Bolton boss at the time.

Ironically, he is now in charge at the Stadium of Light but is already under pressure having lost eight of his first 12 games in charge.

It leaves the North East club in 11th place in the League One table, five points adrift of the play-offs.

Scot Jack Ross was given the sack earlier in the campaign despite leading the club to the play-off final and EFL Trophy final in his first season in charge.

Sunderland, meanwhile, are reportedly set to be without one of their key players in Aiden McGeady this Saturday.

Our sister paper the Sunderland Echo is reporting the winger has been involved in a training ground incident and has subsequently been told he can leave the club in January.

McGeady was an unused substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Gillingham last weekend.

The Seasiders will be without Ben Heneghan after the defender picked up his fifth booking of the campaign in last week's 3-1 win against Fleetwood Town.

But Pool, who have won six of their last eight games in all competitions, are otherwise expected to be at full strength.

Grayson is bidding for his fifth promotion from the third tier with the Seasiders this season.