Sunderland picked up a much-needed win in League One, as they thrashed promotion-chasing rivals Lincoln City 4-0 at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
A brace from Charlie Wyke, and goals from youngster Jack Diamond and Grant Leadbitter saw the Black Cats run out deserved winners.
The result means that Sunderland are now sat eighth in the League One table after 16 matches this term, and they’ll be hoping they can build on this impressive showing heading into a hectic schedule in the third-tier.
One player that caught the eye with a strong performance in particular was Jack Diamond, who continues to go from strength to strength since being given an opportunity to impress earlier this season.
Speaking in a post-match press conference (quotes sourced from Chronicle Live), Black Cats boss Lee Johnson is keen to see the youngster remain grounded after his impressive showings in recent weeks.
“We have to be careful with Jack and make sure he doesn’t get ahead of himself, but what he gives us an attribute that we haven’t otherwise got and that is the ability to stretch the play.”
But Johnson was quick to state that he does still expect to see mistakes being made by Diamond, who will be keen to make a positive impact in his breakthrough season with the Sunderland first-team.
“I look for game impact, particularly with a young player. A young player is allowed to make mistakes, technical and tactical, which if you were an experienced player like Bailey Wright, for example, I’d be questioning what was going on.”
“If I see Jack making technical or tactical mistakes, it’s my job to work with him; if it’s an attitude error, then trust me I’m coming down on him like a ton of bricks.
“All I can do is encourage young players like that and hope that they gain the belief and the confidence to flourish and bring their best to the party.”
Johnson and his Sunderland side are set to return to action in midweek, when they take on AFC Wimbledon back at the Stadium of Light.
Can you score full marks on this festive Sunderland quiz?
I’ve been impressed with his impact so far.
Diamond deserves his chance in the Sunderland first-team, and he’s certainly taking it. They were in a ruthless mood in front of goal against Lincoln, and it was great to see the youngster finding the back of the net in the first-half.
But he won’t be wanting to get ahead of himself, and it’s good to see Lee Johnson looking to manage him the right way in the early stages of his tenure in charge at the Stadium of Light.
Diamond will have a key role to play in Sunderland’s push for promotion back into the Championship this term.