Jack Ross believes that summer signing Dylan McGeouch has plenty more to offer - and has revealed that the midfielder is his own harshest critic.
The summer signing was a standout performer during pre-season after making the switch from Hibernian, but injury saw him miss the opening weeks of the season.
Now back in first team contention, McGeouch has been a regular in Ross' side - but with Lee Cattermole and Max Power returning from suspension, his place in the team could be under threat.
But Ross has faith in the 25-year-old midfielder, who he believes will only improve further as he adjusts to life in the third tier.
"I think he is feeling more and more comfortable,” he admitted.
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“There’s always an adjustment period when you come to any new club, and there’s an adjustment period when you move to a different area.
“He’s getting there, which is good, but he also believes he has an awful lot more to give.
“So do I, but I would always be very positive about him when I speak about him.
“I’m sure if he was sitting here, he would be a lot more critical of himself.
“In some ways that’s good, though, because it shows that he has high standards and he feels he has a way to go before he has reached those standards here.”
McGeouch was one of the standout performers during the 2-2 draw with Peterborough on Tuesday evening, but was still keen to improve further.
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And Ross has revealed how the Scot is his own harshest critic, and is keen to have a greater impact on Sunderland's season.
“Dylan is really conscientious about his football,” he added.
“He thinks deeply about it and he’s quite hard on himself.
“Even the other night he was hard on himself because he still feels he can have much more of an impact.
“But he is getting there and I’ve been pleased with how he has done.
“It’s a different challenge for him, a different style of game, but it’s been pleasing that he has managed to get minutes under his belt in this period although we’ll assess things this weekend because of the number of minutes he has played and that other midfielders have played."