Watmore targets more Sunderland starts

Duncan Watmore scores the first goal for Sunderland with a penalty

The Sunderland youngster made seven starts last season

Duncan Watmore scores the first goal for Sunderland with a penaltyDuncan Watmore is targeting more starts this season

Duncan Watmore has told the Northern Echo that his goal for this season is to make more first team starts for the Black Cats.

The 22 year old forward made 22 Premier League appearances last season, however only seven of those came from a starting position.

Now firmly established in the Sunderland first team set-up, Watmore is hoping that whilst being an impact sub has proved effective thus far as it compliments his style of play, the former Altrincham man is hoping that he can do enough to convince new manager David Moyes that he can also be just as influential in a starting eleven.

Sunderland manager David MoyesSunderland manager David Moyes is the man Watmore will need to impress

"The goal for me is to play more football, although I’m not going to start every game. That’s unrealistic at this stage – I’m still just 22.

“So far, my best performances have probably been as an impact sub. My games’ quite well-suited to that, and last season, when we needed the game changing, I could sometimes do that.

"I’m impacting the game well from the bench, I’m happy because you can’t always do it. But I suppose I’d want to start more games this season, and that will be my aim.”

Gareth Bale celebrates goal v RussiaJermain Defoe has likened Watmore to Gareth Bale

Watmore is another promising prospect to emerge from the youth ranks at Sunderland, tipped for great things in many quarters, with teammate Jermain Defoe even likening him to Gareth Bale in an interview with BBC Newcastle last year.

His direct running and ability on the ball has caught the eye, and the Sunderland man has now made seven appearances for England Under 21s.

Sunderland's Duncan WatmoreSunderland's Duncan Watmore

He was also part of the England side that won the Toulon tournament earlier this summer, their first success in that event for 22 years.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch