Jordan Pickford: Simon Grayson just what Sunderland needed

Former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is confident new manager Simon Grayson is exactly what the Black Cats needed.

The 23-year-old keeper, who left Sunderland for Everton last month in a deal which could eventually be worth £30million, worked with Grayson during a loan spell at Preston during the 2015-16 season.

And Pickford believes the new boss can make a significant impact on Wearside.

He told the club's official website, "I went to Preston to cross those bridges, to become the best keeper I can be.

"I got the opportunity to go to work with Simon and his staff there and it was a massive help for me.

"When I saw the appointment, I was over the moon for the club. He was a man-manager and the fans really liked him as well. He plays a good style of football as well, and it's what I think Sunderland needed, really.

"I think he will be great for the club."

Pickford was speaking after returning to Sunderland's Academy of Light training headquarters to say his goodbyes, with his move going through while he was at the European Under-21s Championship with England.

However, the Washington-born keeper intends to be back on Wearside as often as he can to lend his support to the club he has followed since his schooldays.

He said: "Hopefully I will be coming back as a fan, watching the games when I can. I might get myself in the South Stand."


Sunderland taken off the market by owner Ellis Short

Ellis Short has taken Sunderland off the market after the collapse of takeover talks and the appointment of new manager Simon Grayson.

Speaking as he presented Grayson to the media on Friday afternoon, chief executive Martin Bain revealed that the club is no longer for sale with current owner Short, who has already ploughed in the region of £250million into the business, still underwriting its running costs.

Asked if a sale had been "parked" following ultimately unsuccessful discussions with two potential buyers, Bain said: "I wouldn't say it's been parked, I would say actually the club is not for sale now.

"At this moment in time, Ellis has very much said, 'I will listen to the parties, but I will set a deadline and if they can take the club forward on and off the pitch.'.

"He has a responsibility to this club, he has a love of this football club and he decided it wasn't in the best interests of the club to carry on those discussions any further.

"What I would say is, he has owned the club for nearly nine years now, he has funded the club hugely. He is still very much committed to the football club, he still funds the football club and there are many clubs that actually would be envious of having an owner like Ellis Short."