Sunderland striker Danny Graham has been praised in the Sunderland Echo by U21s manager Andy Welsh following a brace against Liverpool.
The former Swansea City star made a big impact in the 4-3 Premier League cup defeat, firing home two goals to take the match into extra time.
It was Graham’s second successive U21s appearance for Sunderland, after featuring in last month’s 2-1 International Cup victory over Athletic Bilbao, despite being named in Sam Allardyce’s match day squad for the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Graham joined the Black Cats in 2013 but has scored just one goal in 30 appearances since then.
The 30-year-old has subsequently taken in loans at Hull City, Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and will be hoping that his recent form sees him earn a place in Allardyce’s starting XI against Stoke City this Saturday.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, U21s boss Welsh explained that Graham is hungry for minutes on the pitch, adding that he was thrilled with the Englishman’s performance against Liverpool following a long journey back from south London.
Welsh said: “Danny wants to play and wants to get game-time. He didn’t get back until 2 or 3am from Palace, the same with Lynden Gooch.
“So to put on a performance like that was very good from him.”