Chris Rigg explains Sunderland first-team ambitions after Carabao Cup goal against Crewe

Reaction from Chris Rigg after becoming Sunderland’s youngest-ever goalscorer in their Carabao Cup match against Crewe.

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Chris Rigg is hopeful for more first-team opportunities at Sunderland this season and is targeting a regular starting place for the next campaign.

At 16 years and 51 days old, Rigg became Sunderland’s youngest-ever goalscorer when he equalised in a 1-1 draw against Crewe in the Carabao Cup - before Sunderland were beaten 5-3 on penalties.

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“It feels good obviously. I’ve not long been in the squad as like a rotation player, just doing my job for the team really,” Rigg told Sunderland’s website when asked about his goal.

“Unlucky with the result, hopefully we can move onto Preston and get a win.”

Rigg was making his first senior start for Sunderland, following three appearances as a substitute in the FA Cup last season.

The midfielder was also part of the club’s pre-season US tour, after signing a two-year scholarship deal on Wearside over the summer.

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“The lads have been great,” Rigg replied when asked how he’s settled into the first-team squad. ”Like I said in America, nothing but praise for them and for the staff.

“Hopefully I can kick on later on in the season, get a few more goals and just hopefully get a good place in the league and then maybe be a starter next season. That’s the goal.”

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray said in pre-season that Rigg was a contender for a first-team place, while deploying the teenager in different midfield positions.

“The gaffer said don’t change the way you play,” said Rigg. “He’s obviously watched me play for the under-21s and 18s and he just said don’t change the way you play.

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“He calls us like a lion and that’s what I’m like. I love going forward, I love tackling and just hopefully the lads see how ambitious I am to be in the team.”

After being knocked out of the cup by Crewe, Sunderland will now prepare for this weekend’s trip to Preston in the Championship, with Rigg hopeful there will be more first-team chances soon.

“The lads can’t be too disappointed. It’s the cup and we need to focus on the league. Obviously it’s disappointing but hopefully I can get some more contributions.”

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