Sunderland got their campaign to return to the Premier League at the first attempt off to an unconvincing start on Friday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Derby County.

Relegated from the top flight last season, the Black Cats went into the game still mired in recriminations, as Darron Gibson proved when the former Manchester United midfielder was filmed in a bar making a foul-mouthed rant about his team-mates following a friendly thrashing against Celtic last weekend.

That blow to squad morale was the last thing new Sunderland boss Simon Grayson needed ahead of what may be a trying year following the departures of star striker Jermain Defoe and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Things got worse on Friday when Derby took the lead after just 12 minutes when Bradley Johnson lashed home a loose ball in the box.

Lewis Grabban equalised for Sunderland just before the break after Jacob Butterfield was judged to have handled, and while Grabban also hit the bar for Sunderland, his side were fortunate when visiting striker Chris Martin wasted a glorious chance to win it late on.

In the night's other game former European champions Nottingham Forest downed promoted Millwall 1-0 at the City Ground.

Winger Barrie McKay's first goal for Forest was enough to secure the three points thanks to a spectacular long-range finish, four minutes before half-time.