Gus Poyet says that he will include some youngsters in his Sunderland squad which takes on Everton. We take a look at three possibilities.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says that two of the club's youngsters will have the opportunity to be in the first-team squad this weekend.
The Black Cats face Everton on Saturday and injuries have left them down to their bare bones.
Poyet admits that it will force him to select two of the team's academy-products and bring them into the starting line-up.
“There’s going to be a couple of kids on the bench,” Poyet revealed to the Sunderland Echo. “Until the players recover from injuries, there’s going to be a couple of opportunities.
"But what an opportunity. I always say there’s going to be a day when they get a chance, and then it’s up to them to take it"
In this piece we take a look at three options Poyet gets to choose from to make up his first-team squad.
Connor Oliver (defender)
Connor Oliver is a defender who has first-team experience, albeit down in League Two.
The centre-back was allowed to move out on loan to Hartlepool United last season and that experience may stand him in good stead if he is brought into the first-team squad.
A debut can be a daunting experience for any youngster, but Oliver at least has had a taste of senior football previously and that should aid his chances of selection.
Duncan Watmore (attacker)
Widely considered the brightest talent in Sunderland's youth set-up, Watmore looks the obvious choice to make the step-up.
Pacy, direct and skilful, the attack-minded player can play anywhere across the front-line and he will be looking to show he can perform at the top level if he is given an opportunity.
Watmore is the Under-21 side's main threat and he has the potential to be the Black Cats' secret weapon.
Mikael Mandron (striker)
As Sunderland's development side's main goalscorer, Mandron also looks like a player who could have a chance of being involved with Poyet's team.
The Black Cats have struggled for goals this season so if Mandron could show he was ready for regular Premier League football it would be a massive boost.
Mandron has been part of a Sunderland first-team squad, back in 2013, and he has also played at League One level - whilst on loan at Fleetwood Town.
It means that he should have the requisite experience to cope with the call-up and Poyet may put his faith in the youngster to perform.