Elliott Dickman reacts to U23 defeat against Middlesbrough as youngster pushes for cup appearance
Ellis Taylor could be involved in Sunderland's Carabao Cup clash at Wigan Athletic after sitting out the U23's 3-1 defeat against Middlesbrough on Monday afternoon.
Taylor was with the first team as they stepped up their preparations for the third round clash on Tuesday night.
Anthony Patterson did play for Elliott Dickman's side, and made some superb second-half stops.
The Black Cats dominated the first half, but goals from Harry Green in the first minute and Josh Coburn in the 45th minute gave the visitors a lead they barely deserved.
They had the better of the second half, with Coburn adding another before Tyrese Dyce scored a consolation.
"Ellis was with the first-team today," Dickman explained.
"Whether he'll be involved at Wigan I honestly don't know, but he has been with them.
"Patta was terrific," he added.
"He's obviously outgrown U23 football, gone into the first team and done smashing.
"He hadn't had a game for a little while so we asked the question and the first-team staff were fully behind that, so it was good for him to get that little bit of game time."
While keen to ensure Sunderland book their place in the fourth round, Lee Johnson is expected to make a number of changes to his settled League XI.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town on Saturday, he said: "I try not to pick a team too closely after a game because emotions are raw. You want to try to consider it, and you have to see how everybody is.
"Ross picked up a knock, but Flanno is obviously back in contention.
"It’s a game we think we can mix up a little bit to get the balance of minutes for players but also go and try to get into the next round.
"I’ve just got to select it to give opportunity at times and also to give us a chance to win the football match.”
Dickman was left frustrated by his team's defensive shortcomings, which have been a key problem in the early stages of the new campaign.
The Black Cats played some excellent football in the first half, but were left with no reward.
"We were a bit perplexed to come in 2-0 down, but to be honest the two goals we gave away were poor and that was really, really disappointing from our perspective," he said.
"Some of our play in between was very good and probably the best we have played all season. Some of the play and patterns we produced were really good.
"We created a lot of chances but that final ball just let us down.
"We were the better side first half but to be fair, I thought they were the better side second half.
"I think they managed the game really well towards the end, we've got to be better at keeping the ball alive, not giving fouls away, things like that.
"We're conceding a lot of goals and we need to get better at that.
"There are some positives for us but a lot to work on and we'll keep doing that."