Ex-Rangers star's comments which should give hope to Sunderland's youngsters under Advocaat

Netherlands Flag

Sunderland youngsters have been offered hope by ex-Rangers man Peter Leven's comments on Dick Advocaat.

Former Rangers midfielder Peter Leven has suggested in the Shields Gazette that Dick Advocaat will have no fear at handing Sunderland's more promising youngsters a first-team chance during his time at the Stadium of Light.

Leven was only 16-years-old when he was working with Advocaat at Rangers, but he has explained how valued the Dutchman made him feel.

Advocaat was happy to give him first-team opportunities and Leven has played testament to the 67-year-old's man-management skills.

“I really like Dick Advocaat, because he put me on the first-team bench when I was just a kid," he said.

“I was only 16, and he put me on the bench five times, including for an Old Firm game, which was an incredible experience.

“He had a great influence on myself and the younger players, and it was amazing to work under him and see what it was all about.”

The quotes should give hope to a number of Sunderland youngsters that found their chances in the senior squad limited under former boss Gus Poyet.

Poyet didn't manage to bring through any players from the club's academy-system, and the Daily Mirror suggested this was part of the reason why he was sacked.

The Black Cats had wanted to see their more promising academy graduates given chances, but Poyet was always reluctant to use them.

Advocaat, though, may be more willing to take a chance and there have already been indications that Duncan Watmore could be given his Premier League debut this weekend against West Ham United.

Watmore trained with the Sunderland first-team during Advocaat's maiden session in charge of the Black Cats and the 21-year-old will hope that he did enough to prove to his new manager that he is ready to be handed an opportunity to impress.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch