Sunderland's Duncan Watmore on what he's found difficult in the Premier League so far

Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore has been handed four appearances in the first-team so far this season.

Duncan Watmore has admitted to the Sunderland Echo that playing in the Premier League has presented him with new challenges as a player.

Watmore has become a part of Dick Advocaat's first-team set-up this season, and has now made four appearances for the Black Cats, scoring twice.

The 21-year-old has dealt with the step-up well so far, but admits that there are areas of his game he will need to improve in the future if he is to cope fully with the transition. 

"I’ve got to play to my strengths. I’m better with the ball running at people, rather than playing with my back to goal," he said in the Sunderland Echo

“I don’t want to get myself in that position too often. I might be able to handle myself in the 21s, but if I’m there with my back to goal in the Premier League, it’s difficult, it’s hard.

“Maybe in the 21s, I could have got away with it, but you’ve got to lift your standard. Every player goes through it though. You’ve got to learn what you can do and what you can’t do and what you have to improve on.

“I’ve got to learn to adapt my game to that and maybe go in behind or something.”

Watmore was a standout player for Sunderland's under-21 side last season, and his call-up to the first-team has been long overdue.

Many were calling for the skilful winger to be selected as the Black Cats struggled for goals last term, but Advocaat tended to overlook him in favour of more experienced options.

With the pressure slightly relieved, the Dutch boss has been more willing to trust Watmore this term, and his faith has been repaid.

Although the youngster is clearly still adapting, he has shown the potential that he has, and he appears to have the hard-working attitude required to make it at the top of the game. 

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