It has been a tough period for the North-East outfit, having constantly battled relegation from the Premier League before finally facing the drop last term, as well as seeing talks over a sale hit a brick wall.
Grayson is hopeful that he is the man to finally turn things around at the Stadium of Light, however, promising to wipe the slate clean ahead of a new chapter in the club's history.
"You have former European Cup winners in this division, and teams that have been around the top end of the Premier League at times. But the names, and what they have done in the past, are irrelevant," The Telegraph quotes him as saying. "It is about the present and what you want to achieve now.
"It does not matter what has gone on here in the past, everyone has a clean slate. This is still a club that will be a huge draw in the Championship, we just need to get the right players in and my phone has not stopped ringing since I got the job with players wanting to come here.
"When the team is relegated from the Premier League, footballers at any club always have egos and they might think they deserve to be somewhere else. They [think they] deserve this that and the other, but it will down to individuals who will hopefully buy into what we do. And hopefully enjoy it here and think 'do you know something I can this place developing and doing really well.
"If players come to me and they say I don't fancy being part of what we are trying to do then I will allow them to leave. But they will only leave at the right price for this football club. I want players to stay, to enjoy themselves and work but if they don't want to do that we will obviously bring in players that do want to do that."
Grayson had spent the past four years managing Preston North End, having previously had spells with Blackpool, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.