Allardyce vows to play young side against Watford as he looks for next future Sunderland star

Sam Allardyce Press Conference Disappointed 12/02/2014

The Black Cats boss will experiment with his side at Vicarage Road on Sunday after they assured survival.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has told reporters, as shown by the club's official website, that he will introduce some young academy prospects into his side for the final-day clash with Watford now that safety is assured.

The Black Cats beat a poor Everton 3-0 on Wednesday night to seal their survival with a game to spare after another intense relegation battle.

Allardyce admitted after the match that the result means he is now able to bring forward some of his end of season plans with the pressure off, and he revealed he would begin discussing players' futures in the days before the final fixture.

Now he has said that he will now use Sunday's newly-meaningless match to test out some of the club's promising youngsters ahead of considering this summer whether to begin integrating them into the first team on a regular basis next season.

Allardyce told reporters, as shown by the club's website: "My idea is to play some younger players. The Under-21s have had a great year and I think some of them need to play in the team on Sunday to see if they can cope at this level when there's no pressure on us in terms of points needed.

"That's not saying we're going to go there and lie down. I expect these lads to be able to compete at this level; and show us that there may be a place for them in the squad in the future.

"We need to find more youngsters through the academy and the only way I can find out is if I try them in the team. That would give me an indication of whether they're capable of competing in the squad next season."

Sunderland have a handful of promising academy players in their first team-squad this season including Duncan Watmore, and they have handed new and improved long-term contracts to Watmore, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, George Honeyman, and Lynden Gooch.

Of that quartet, Watmore has comfortably enjoyed the most successful season in the senior picture, although Pickford and Gooch have also made their Premier League debuts, but Allardyce is clearly keen to find even more stars of the future over the next few months.

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