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Exclusive: Jobi McAnuff gives his verdict on Lee Johnson’s approach at Sunderland this season

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Discovery+ and Quest pundit Jobi McAnuff has been very impressed with Lee Johnson’s confidence to give younger players key roles within Sunderland’s promotion push this season.

We have seen a shift in recruitment to pursue younger players with higher potential resale values since the pandemic in the EFL which has seen more regular opportunities granted to academy graduates.

Sunderland sourced youthful talent from the likes of Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer to give their squad a new look, and that has paid dividends in the first half of the campaign.

When asked if Lee Johnson should continue relying on inexperienced players in the crunch moments that are to come this season, Jobi McAnuff exclusively told Football League World:

“He should go with the lads who have done so well. He’s given players an opportunity, now they’ve gone out there and done the business he has to stick with them.

“Sometimes the younger players aren’t as affected by that pressure, because they’re just buzzing to be out there performing. I’m sure Lee Johnson will continue to use the likes of Dan Neil and the other youngsters who have been so good for him this season.”

Quiz: Have Sunderland signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?

1 of 20

Rotherham United

The play-offs have been a cruel mistress for Sunderland in the last few years, conceding in the dying embers in the 2018/19 play-off final and getting knocked out by Lincoln City last term. Johnson has a very difficult job on his hands in such a competitive promotion race, with an expectant home faithful to appease with it unimaginable that the club may have to compete in the third tier for a fifth season running.

The Black Cats deserve credit for planning for the future despite the immense win at all costs pressure on them and, if they can make the leap back to the Championship soon, they will reap the rewards for those decisions in the next few years.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Exclusive: Jobi McAnuff gives his verdict on Lee Johnson’s approach at Sunderland this season

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