Sunderland’s squad have been heavily criticised for not showing the desire and passion to turn around the North East side’s fortunes.
Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season, without putting up much of a fight, and things have not improved this time around.
Sunderland are currently in 23rd position in the Championship table, after winning just one of their first 11 matches.
But Grayson does not believe that Sunderland’s players’ passion should be in question.
He said: “Some people might question the character of the players or their attitude sometimes, but I see them every day and I know they are hurting with the results over the last few weeks.
“They care for this football club and they are desperate to do well.”
Sunderland are next in action against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, and they will be under big pressure to show an improvement.
Grayson has had two weeks to work with Sunderland’s players on the training ground, during the international break, which should have given him a chance to work on the faults in their game.
If Sunderland can beat QPR they are likely to move out of the relegation zone, which would be a much needed boost for the Black Cats.