New Sunderland striker Will Grigg has told talkSPORT he couldn’t pass up opportunity to join a ‘massive club’ and was relieved when his Wearside switch was finally confirmed on deadline day.
After a long pursuit, reportedly taking eight bids to agree a £4million fee with Wigan, Sunderland managed to land their man just moments before the January transfer window closed last Thursday.
The 27-year-old arrives at the Stadium of Light with great pedigree in League One – the striker has won promotion to the Championship four times in the past five years and scored 65 goals in 150 appearances for the Latics.
There is big expectation on the Northern Ireland international to deliver in a Sunderland shirt, as the club aim to kick-start their climb back up the English Football League.
And Grigg is confident he can help fire the club back to where they belong.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White about his 11th hour move, the striker said: “It seemed to go on forever to be honest, but we managed to leave it to the last half-hour of the window and I’m just grateful we got it done.
“Is it a relief? Yes, definitely. It’s no secret I loved my time at Wigan, but the opportunity to join a massive club like Sunderland, it’s something I wanted to happen.
“The short-team goal is obviously promotion to the Championship. The lads have been playing really well and have put themselves in a great position, they just need a few goals and obviously that’s my job.
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“I’ve proved I can do it many times before and if I can do that again that’s my job done in the short-term.
“At every club I’ve been there has been a lot of expectation. The fans are unbelievable here and in terms of the size of the club it’s not something I’ve been at before, but in terms of pressure it’s the same.
“When I’ve played in League One before Wigan were always expected to go up and that’s something I can certainly help with here, to keep the lads calm and focused.
“It’s no secret the expectation on the players here, but it’s something I know I can deal with.”
Sunderland fans have been made to wait to see their new frontman in action, after he sat out of the weekend’s 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon with an ankle injury.
But Grigg revealed he is aiming to make his first appearance away at Oxford United at Saturday and will then prepare for his home debut against Blackpool the following Tuesday.
He added: “The first game is on Saturday against Oxford and I’m pushing myself to be fit because I had a little ankle injury. Fingers crossed I can get a few training sessions in before.
“Then it’s the first home game [against Blackpool], so yeah I’m raring to go.”