Sunderland defender Niall Huggins has expressed his delight at making his first league start for the club, in the Black Cats’ 5-0 thrashing of Cheltenham on Tuesday night.
Huggins joined Sunderland on a permanent deal from Leeds United back in August, signing a four-year deal that is set to keep him at The Stadium of Light until the summer of 2025.
Having made that move no doubt with the hope of playing more regular senior football, the 20-year-old took another step towards doing that in midweek, as he made his first league start for the club – and his career – against Cheltenham.
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The left-back played the full 90 minutes of what would be a very successful night for the Black Cats, with a Ross Stewart double, along with goals from Luke O’Nien, Bailey Wright and Lon Dajuku secured an emphatic win to move Lee Johnson’s side top of the League One table.
Perhaps not surprisingly therefore, it seems as though Huggins certainly enjoyed his outing for the Black Cats on Tuesday.
Taking to his Instagram page to react to that success, Huggins simply said: “First league start and what a win to top it off.”
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Next up for Huggins and Sunderland, is the visit of Portsmouth to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.
You can’t blame Huggins for being delighted with just about everything that happened on Tuesday night.
From an individual perspective, making that first league start of his career is a big step forward in his progression as a player, and he will hope there are many more to come.
The fact that it came in such an emphatic and impressive win to take Sunderland to the top of the League One table, will have only made this all the more satisfying for Huggins.
Indeed, with the potential he clearly possesses, you imagine there will be plenty more enjoyable nights like this for the young full-back as he continues to develop and improve in the game.