Sunderland have lost their last four league games.
Pundit Danny Higginbotham has told Sky Sports' EFL Matters that Sunderland's home form is a 'big issue' – and thinks Simon Grayson is realising the enormity of the job he faces.
Following David Moyes' exit back in May, Sunderland moved to land Grayson as their new manager, raiding Championship rivals Preston for his services after two 11th placed finishes with the Lilywhites.
Grayson set about rebuilding the Sunderland squad following their relegation from the Premier League, as he brought in the likes of Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway, Aiden McGeady and Lewis Grabban to boost his squad.
With a win and two draws from the first three games of the season, Sunderland looked relatively solid – but they have endured a nosedive in recent weeks, losing four games on the bounce.
After losing 2-0 at home to Leeds United, Sunderland then lost at Barnsley before further home defeats to Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest, with Daryl Murphy's late winner handing Forest all three points at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening.
Sunderland's long wait for a home win goes on, and manager Grayson now has to hope that it's not five defeats in a row when the Black Cats take on Hull City this afternoon.
Ahead of that game, pundit Danny Higginbotham has told Sky Sports' EFL Matters that he thinks Sunderland's home form is a 'big issue' with no win in the last 15 games at the Stadium of Light, and that hoodoo is adding even more pressure.
Higginbotham added that Sunderland need to deal with the pressure of being a big club in the Championship, adding that he does think that Grayson is realising the size of the challenge on Wearside, but ultimately believing that it was too good for him to turn down.
“It’s been difficult because I think the expectation levels there are huge,” said Higginbotham. “What you’ve got there, the supporters have been down for so long, fighting at the wrong end of the Premier League. Their home form is a big issue for them, I don’t think they’ve had a win in their last 15, so obviously that brings pressure. They did start the season alright, but they seem to have fallen into a bit of a slump, and it’s very difficult to get out of it. They are, for the majority of the teams in the Championship, the cup final, and they’ve got to deal with that, put up with it, handle the pressure, and their home form isn’t helping them.”
“I think so, but I’m sure he would tell you himself that it was a job he couldn’t turn down. It’s such a huge club, a fantastic football club,” he added.