Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has revealed he will reward some of the club’s youngsters with the chance to play in Sunday’s final game against Watford.
The Black Cats ensured that they would be playing Premier League football again next season after securing a comfortable victory over Everton on Wednesday, subsequently relegating Newcastle and Norwich who will join Aston Villa in the Championship.
Allardyce is set to shuffle his pack for the trip to Vicarage Road and will look to some of his youngsters. Sunderland’s Under-21s finished second in the Premier League Under-21 table and Allardyce is keen to blood them.
Duncan Watmore is one of the academy products to have broken into the senior side this term and he will be joined by some of his peers on Sunday.
Jordan Pickford, George Honeyman, Tommy Robson and Rees Greenwood are all in line to travel with the squad, as Allardyce looks to evaluate their ability at the top level.
Allardyce said: “My idea is to play some of our younger players because the 21s have had a great year.
“Some of them need to play in the team on Sunday to see if they can cope at this level, when there’s no pressure on in terms of points needed.
“That’s not to say we’re going there to lie down. I expect these lads to be able to compete at this level and show us there may be a place for them in our squad in the future.
“We need to find more young stars through the academy if we possibly can and the only way I can find out is if I try them in the team, that would be my way forward, to let the lads go out and express themselves.
“That would give me an indication if they are capable of coming in next season.”