Will Grigg tells talkSPORT he ‘couldn’t turn down’ Sunderland move and reveals when he will be fit to play

5 Feb

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.

MORE: ‘Hair-raising’ Will Grigg signing was filmed for Sunderland ‘Til I Die series two

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.

“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.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s exclusive interview with Sunderland striker Will Grigg IN FULL above!

Sunderland news: Frantic last-minute Will Grigg signing was filmed by Netflix for Sunderland ‘Til I Die documentary, reveals owner Stewart Donald

1 Feb

Sunderland’s ‘hair-raising’ deadline day signing of striker Will Grigg was captured by film makers for a potential second series of hit Netflix show Sunderland ‘Til I Die, club owner Stewart Donald has told talkSPORT.

The Black Cats finally announced the arrival of Northern Ireland international Grigg from Wigan on Friday morning, having sealed the signing just moments before Thursday’s 11pm deadline.

Man United fans sing the Will Grigg song
Will Grigg has joined Sunderland in a £4m deal

Donald joined talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday to confirm the deal was done and signed off by the EFL after the club finally had an offer accepted by Wigan.

It is claimed it took six bids to agree a fee for the ‘on-fire’ striker, with the offer accepted rumoured to be around the £4million mark.

The Sunderland chief admitted it took some time to get the deal over the line.

“We made genuine bids,” Donald told Jim White.

“The first couple of bids we made weren’t at the target price, but after that we were hitting the targets we were given by Wigan.

“But then we found out from the CEO that the targets we were given by the people at the club weren’t actually the sale price. It happens.

“So that pushed the price up and in the end we just had to make a decision as to whether to proceed with the final figure they gave us.

“I spoke to his agent when at 10:56 the pen went to paper.

“The EFL have indicated that it’s all fine, so hopefully it’s just a formality and in about half an hour we’ll be there.

“We’re hopefully in pretty good shape for the season now.

“If Netflix do a second series, if I was a Sunderland fan I’d watch that episode, it was hair-raising stuff.

“If they do another one, it will be there for all to see and I tell you what, there was some emotion through the day, it was a tough ol’ day to be fair.”

Sunderland officially announced the signing of Grigg just before 11am on Friday morning.

Sunderland transfer news: Will Grigg joins Black Cats in £4million deal from Wigan Athletic

1 Feb

Sunderland have signed striker Will Grigg from Wigan Athletic, the League One club have announced.

The Black Cats completed the reported £4million deal at the 11th hour of Thursday’s transfer deadline day with the official confirmation coming on Friday morning.

They have been pursuing the striker for most of January and were in need of some extra firepower up front after the sale of Josh Maja to Bordeaux.

Grigg, 27, scored 19 goals in Wigan’s promotion to the Championship last season but has found the net just three times this season.

Sunderland are understood to have made six bids for Grigg during the transfer window. Their fifth was thought to be an offer of £1.25million plus add-ons but Wigan were holding firm in their valuation.

The Black Cats also had a bid of £1.25million turned down for Doncaster Rovers striker John Marquis.

More to follow…

Championship round-up: Aston Villa rescue last-gasp point against Brentford, Will Grigg on fire for Wigan against Stoke

22 Aug

Here’s what happened in the evening kick-offs in the Championship on Tuesday, August 21…

Aston Villa 2-2 Brentford

Jonathan Kodjia rescued a last-gasp point for Aston Villa as they grabbed a 2-2 draw against Brentford.

Neal Maupay’s brace looked to have given the Bees their first ever victory at Villa Park.

But Kodjia’s injury-time header – virtually the last touch of the game – earned Villa the draw they deserved in the Sky Bet Championship.

Neal Maupay scores Brentford’s first goal

Blackburn 2-2 Reading

Charlie Mulgrew netted a brace of second-half penalties as Blackburn mounted an impressive comeback to draw 2-2 with Reading and preserve their unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season.

Reading looked to be heading for their first win this term after a dominant first-half in which Jon Dadi Bodvarsson notched a brace of his own with a deft 12th-minute finish and an emphatic second midway through the half – the Royals’ first away league goals since March.

They will be aggrieved not to have taken the points and captain Paul McShane was chief culprit, twice committing needless fouls in the area. Both times, Mulgrew tucked away penalties.

It means Rovers stay unbeaten in the league at home since September 2017. Reading, meanwhile, have still not tasted victory on the road since January, and their difficult start to the season continues.

Norwich 2-0 Preston

Norwich finally got their SkyBet Championship season up and running as two late goals earned them a flattering 2-0 victory over Preston at Carrow Road.

Finnish striker Teemu Pukki fired home his third goal for his new club to break the deadlock with just 10 minutes remaining – and the points were quickly wrapped up with a 25-yard stunner from Alex Tettey six minutes later.

The result was tough on the visitors, who had more than their fair share of the play, but it was the Canaries who came out on top to secure their first league win after taking just one point from their opening three fixtures.

Tettey scored Norwich’s second from distance

Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Millwall

Barry Bannan and Tom Lees scored either side of the break to earn Sheffield Wednesday a 2-1 victory over Millwall – their first win of the season.

Ryan Tunnicliffe scored for the Lions, who were previously unbeaten.

Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay made five changes to his starting line-up, with Fernando Forestieri and Atdhe Nuhiu among those to miss out. They were among the substitutes. Young duo Fraser Preston and Matt Penney made their full debuts.

Bolton 1-0 Birmingham

Will Buckley scored Bolton’s first goal against Birmingham at the sixth time of asking as a 1-0 win moved them up to third in the Sky Bet Championship.

Wanderers, who only protected their second-tier status on the final day of last season, remain unbeaten while Garry Monk’s Birmingham have yet to win in four attempts.

But the visitors, who had won four of the five previous meetings against their hosts, deserved at least a point.

Birmingham created the better chances until Buckley scrambled in a cross from fellow substitute Sammy Ameobi with 17 minutes left.

Grigg netted twice for Wigan

Stoke 0-3 Wigan

Will Grigg bagged a brace to inspire Wigan to a dominant 3-0 win away at struggling 10-man Stoke.

Grigg opened the scoring for the Latics three minutes before the half hour on a rain-sodden night in Staffordshire, converting Gavin Massey’s pinpoint cross.

Massey got on the scoresheet himself shortly after, showing excellent determination to burst down the right and double the visitors’ advantage.

Grigg notched his second from 12 yards on 57 minutes to complete a memorable away performance after referee John Brooks awarded a penalty following Joe Allen’s foul on Nick Powell.

Late into the fixture, centre-back Ashley Williams was sent off for a second yellow card for bringing down substitute Josh Windass, compounding the misery which was felt around most of the bet365 Stadium.