Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has admitted that he was pleased to see Denver Hume make his return to senior action in the club’s recent clash with Lincoln City.
The left-back finally decided to commit his future to the Black Cats last month after letting his previous deal at the Stadium of Light expire.
Unable to take part in pre-season friendly due to a serious hamstring injury that he picked up in the play-offs last season, Hume was forced to watch on from the sidelines during the opening stages of the current campaign.
In his absence, Dennis Cirkin was able to produce a number of impressive performances for Sunderland as they have accumulated 22 points from 10 league games.
After recently returning to full training, Hume was handed the opportunity to showcase his talent against Lincoln in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday.
The defender played the full game for Sunderland as his side sealed a 2-1 victory over the Imps at the LNER Stadium.
Making reference to Hume, Johnson praised the defender for his display and has admitted that the club will continue to give him minutes in this particular competition.
Speaking to Chronicle Live about Hume, the Sunderland boss said: “It was good to see Denver back and he put in a really steady performance.
“It was important for him and important for us, and we’ll just keep chipping away at his minutes.
“You’ll see his confidence grow and as that happens you’ll see the more attacking side of Denver come through.
“The good thing was that he looked steady, secure and trusted his hamstring.
“There were quite a few where he had to lead with a higher leg or open up and have that burst over 15-20 yards, which he was able to do.
“I think he’ll be delighted to get a full 90 because originally the plan was only to give him 60-65 minutes.”
Having emerged unscathed from this particular clash, Hume may be given another chance to feature for Sunderland in their upcoming EFL Trophy clash with Manchester United’s Under-21 side.
Certainly no stranger to life in League One, the left-back knows exactly what it takes to compete at this level as he has made 63 appearances in this division during his career.
In order to overtake Cirkin in the pecking order at the Stadium of Light, Hume will need to produce an impressive performance against United’s youth outfit as his team-mate is currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.93 in the third-tier.
Providing that these two players are able to reach new heights in terms of their development, they could both have a positive impact on Sunderland’s fortunes this season.