Duncan Watmore wants to push on and start games for Sunderland

Duncan Watmore in action for Sunderland
Duncan Watmore in action for Sunderland

Duncan Watmore is looking to build on a good “couple of weeks” at Sunderland and press his claims for a starting spot for England’s Under-21s and the Black Cats.

The 21-year-old forward has had to be patient to be given his opportunity under Dick Advocaat.

But having waited 18 months he was eventually handed a second first-team appearance against Norwich and went on to net twice in three successive substitute’s outings - the latest coming in the Capital One Cup win over Exeter City.

His promising form resulted in a call-up by U21s boss Gareth Southgate.

And last season’s Premier League Under-21 Player of the Year is ready to take his chance.

“We all want to [impress Southgate], see what happens in the games and then go from there,” said Watmore, who also hopes to graduate from Newcastle University in December with a degree in economics and business management.

“But I’ve really enjoyed it so far, the coaching staff and the lads have made me feel really welcome and I think there’s a few new faces so it’s been a really good start and I’m looking forward to the games.

“Training’s good, there’s a lot to think about in terms of technical and tactical aspects and there’s a lot to take on board.

“It’s a new squad, but there’s a few faces who have been around for a while so it’s a good balance and everyone is on the same page, trying to impress the manager.”

Watmore arrived at St. George’s Park on the back of two goals for the Black Cats, against Norwich and Exeter.

And with the chance of a potential U21s debut at Deepdale on Thursday, Watmore says it would only enhance the last few weeks even further.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks for me, I’ve been involved in all of the [Sunderland] squads since I made my debut,” added Watmore.

“I’ve been getting some game time coming off the bench and I’ve enjoyed it.

“Now it’s time for me to try and push on and get a start in the team, but there’s no rush for that as it’s a big step up.

“I’m just enjoying being in the squad and learning a lot from all of the players there and the experience I’m getting.

“So I’m just taking it step by step and trying to improve with each game that I play.”