Robbie Stockdale wants more Sunderland youngsters in the first-team

Gus Poyet Press Conference Still

Sunderland coach Robbie Stockdale would like the side to show more faith in their academy prospects.

Sunderland academy boss Robbie Stockdale has told the Shields Gazette that he wants more of the club's youngsters to get first-team opportunities.

The Black Cats have tended to favour more experienced members of their squad, with the pressure on the side to stay up, but Stockdale is hoping that this attitude changes in the near future.

He wants Sunderland's brighter prospects to be trusted to have an impact in the senior squad, but admits that it will take time to convince people around the club that this is the best approach to take.

"We’ve had some debuts this season, we’d like more, but we understand that takes time,” said Stockdale.

“It’s consistency as much as anything. They need opportunity too, but then they need to be good enough to take the opportunities which come."

Sunderland have handed debuts to the likes of George Honeyman and Liam Agnew this season, but there is still a feeling that their youngsters have been under utilised.

The under-21 side have enjoyed an impressive campaign, but their good form has not been rewarded by either Gus Poyet or Dick Advocaat.

The biggest example of this lack of faith regards Duncan Watmore. The 21-year-old winger has scored six goals in his last six matches, but he has still struggled to get off the bench at Premier League level.

He will be hoping that the side show more faith next season, though, when – if top-flight safety can be secured - the pressure will be reduced significantly as the club strive to avoid a repeat of this year’s relegation struggles.

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