Darron Gibson praised by Sunderland boss after Bury performance
Simon Grayson: ‘I think he had to answer a few questions because of what he said’
Sunderland’s Darron Gibson in action during the Carabao Cup first-round match against Bury at Gigg Lane. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
The Republic of Ireland midfielder was selected for the first time since the Black Cats opened a disciplinary process against him last month after he was filmed in a bar criticising team-mates.
Gibson played 90 minutes and looked assured throughout as George Honeyman’s first senior goal 21 minutes from time delivered a maiden victory for new Sunderland boss Grayson.
And the performance of his under-fire midfielder Gibson was one of the most pleasing aspects to emerge from the display at Gigg Lane.
“I thought he dominated the midfield area, him and Didier [Ndong],” Grayson said of Gibson.
“I thought they controlled it when they needed to and worked hard off the ball.
“I think he had to answer a few questions because of what he said and other people wanted to see him put on a performance and I thought he did. He showed experience with the ball and without it, I’m really pleased for him.”
Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season and won just eight games across the three competitions they were in.
Grayson, who had named a strong line-up that included Gibson’s Irish team-mates John O’Shea and Aiden McGeady, stressed the importance of changing the club’s mentality by winning games such as this.
“It’s important that we get back to winning ways very quickly because we haven’t had too many over the last year or so, hence why we played the team we did,” he noted.
“I could have done with leaving a few more out but players need some game time and we wanted to win.
“The supporters can go home happy that they’ve seen a good, honest team performance and a victory. This can lead to more confidence for the players.”