Simon Grayson has claimed that footballers are keen to join Sunderland despite the mistakes that the now-Championship club have made in the past.
The Black Cats boss was speaking ahead of his team's Carabao Cup clash against Bury (via the Northern Echo) on Thursday evening, and explained why Sunderland were an attractive proposition to players after a turbulent few years in the Premier League.
The north east side crashed out of England's top flight last season and have endured something of a topsy-turvy summer, but Grayson admitted he is confident of being able to bring in more new recruits ahead of the September transfer window closing date.
He commented: “The size of the football club, mostly working with myself, they know what we like and the attraction of playing at the Stadium of Light and the training facilities we have got, this club can go places.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forwards again, that’s the process we are in at this moment in time.
"Players keep ringing and texting asking to come, embarrassing really because they are other people’s players, but it is part and parcel of what this club can attract to individuals.”
Sunderland's attendance tonight - 29,578— Sunderland Stats (@SunderlandStats) August 4, 2017
West Brom's highest attendance last season - 26,308
Unlucky mate. https://t.co/fWWWBKggDx
Grayson has managed to land seven new signings since he took over from David Moyes at the Stadium of Light.
Everton winger Aiden McGeady, Bury striker James Vaughan and Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele have all been acquired for tiny fees, while Everton duo Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning, Bournemouth forward Lewis Grabban and Utrecht shot stopper Robbin Ruiter have also joined - the former three on loan and the latter on a free transfer.
Grayson expects to add more bodies to his senior squad in the coming weeks, with Ross McCormack and Jordan Hugill his priority targets before 1st September rolls around.
The ex-Preston manager added that players were now linking up with Sunderland for reasons other than the money on offer and stated his belief that they were signing for the right reasons.
He said: “Players are coming here for footballing reasons now, 100 per cent, and not financial. That has been the biggest difference I suppose.
“Maybe that has been the difference in the past, when this club has found it hard to attract players to come here then they have had to pay over the odds. The salaries can have a burden, and the financial problems can develop when you are left with these players. We know that is stopping at this moment in time.
“Players still get paid decently here believe me, but it is about coming for the right reasons and that’s all it will be from now on.”