Sunderland were beaten 2-1 by Fleetwood Town in the EFL Trophy last night but many Black Cats fans appear hugely impressed by the performance of 21-year-old Elliot Embleton.
Phil Parkinson’s men dominated for much of the game and took an early lead through Callum McFadzean’s deflected strike but came undone just before the hour mark at Highbury Stadium.
The hosts scored two goals inside 10 minutes as first Barrie McKay and then Mark Duffy put the ball in the Black Cats’ net, turning the tie on its head.
Sunderland were never able to recover, with injuries wreaking havoc with Parkinson’s side, but despite falling to a 2-1 defeat there were some positives.
Among those was the performance of Embleton, who has been impressing for the U23s while working his way back from injury in recent weeks.
The midfielder came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup last weekend and made his first start of the campaign last night.
The Sunderland academy product certainly seems to have impressed as he pulled the strings in midfield for much of the game for the Black Cats.
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One of the criticisms levelled at Parkinson this term has been his reluctance to put faith in the club’s talented young players and that pressure from fans looks set to intensify after Embleton’s display.
Read the reaction of Sunderland supporters here:
Embleton has to be given a run in the team.
— Rich (@SafcMod) November 10, 2020
Younger was excellent until he went off Neil and diamond and embleton were good the senior players O'Brien and Willis were the poor ones
— chris scott (@chopper_safc) November 10, 2020
Good to see Elliott Embleton impress tonight with his set-pieces especially. Callum McFadzean did well again before he came off injured. A better first half than second but tonight was all about giving experience to the younger players a learning curve and gametime #SAFC
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) November 11, 2020
I do think a few of the young kids mixed with season pros Wright Leadbitter they could make the step up looked promising early on now just try and integrate them into the team. Neil Embleton should be starting #SAFC
— Andrew Pinkney (@aspi80) November 10, 2020
Despite bad result, there were positives with youngsters doing themselves proud, Embleton's creativity and McFadzean to name a few. Injuries halted momentum and Fleetwood took advantage. Hopefully not too serious. Focus back on League with MK Dons at weekend. #SAFC #HawayTheLads https://t.co/Sl6hOg7TaZ
— Ian Crow (@Ian_Crow3) November 10, 2020
Positives to take from tonight. Neil, Embleton, Diamond, Younger all impressed.
Hugely unlucky with injuries but like I say, I think we need a manager that can motivate his players because it’s clear to see Parkinson can’t.
Hopefully see them in the first team #SAFC
— Speak Sunderland (@SpeakSAFC) November 10, 2020
I know it’s only 45 minutes in a near meaningless game against Fleetwood but for me the likes of Younger, Neil, Diamond and Embleton really need to be a lot more involved in the first team squad in the League games #SAFC
— JofraJones92 (@JofraJones92) November 10, 2020
Elliot Embleton and Dan Neil should be starting every game from now on. Quality players. #SAFC
— Todd Young (@YoungyCK1) November 10, 2020
100% here for Elliot Embleton taking corners with both feet.
He looks a real creative spark every time he gets the ball. #SAFC
— Matthew Crichton (@MattyCrichton) November 10, 2020