'Pretty sure': Tony Mowbray explains the next steps in Chris Rigg's incredible Sunderland journey

Tony Mowbray will bring Chris Rigg into the first-team fold at Sunderland - on the days he's not in school.

Rigg became the club's second youngest player when Mowbray introduced him in the 81st minute of the 2-1 win FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town, and the club's youngest ever outfield player.

The 15-year-old played his part in the remarkable turnaround at Montgomery Waters Meadow, winning the corner from which Ross Stewart headed a 92nd-minute equaliser.

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Rigg was then involved in the excellent counter-attack that ended with Luke O'Nien scoring the winner that secured a place in the Fourth Round and £105,000 in prize money for the club.

Mowbray joked afterwards that Rigg, who doesn't turn 16 until June, could claim the credit for the comeback.

A significant number of injuries throughout the senior squad have played their part in Rigg's recent rise, and the club are looking to add another midfielder in the January midfielder, but Mowbray says he has been involved on merit and has taken a significant step forward.

Mowbray said: "We were 1-0 down when Riggy went on so I'm sure he'll tell everyone and his grandkids in future that he went on and changed the game!

"Listen, it's great for him and I don't put him on the pitch for no reason. He's talented and when he trains with us, he's tenacious and he wins tackles - doesn't show too much respect to the senior players. He moves the ball with his left foot and he looks smooth when he travels with it. He was on the pitch because he deserved to be on the pitch.

Chris Rigg makes his debut for Sunderland
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"Of course we had a lot of injuries and that played a part, but the chance comes and everyone needs that opportunity. He's done well and hopefully pushed himself on the fringes of helping us in league matches going forward.

"Chris is still at school so he gets day release one or two days a week - and in my opinion he'll now come and train with us on those days. The pace is faster and I think he'll progress faster as a result.

"From over 20 years [doing this] the message is always that the pace in the first-team environment is a step up, and the senior players tend not show too much respect because you're potentially going to be taking their place. It's a sink or swim environment - and I'm pretty sure this kid is going to swim."

Rigg, an England international in his age group, is the subject of significant transfer interest from a number of Premier League clubs. Newcastle United are particularly keen to sign the youngster.

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Mowbray is hopeful that he will have a number of players back for Swansea City's visit to the Stadium of Light next Saturday, though Rigg could yet be involved again.

Alex Pritchard, Dennis Cirkin and Aji Alese are all expected to be unavailable, but Danny Batth and Corry Evans should be back in the fold. Lynden Gooch returned to the squad and was an unused substitute in the Shrewsbury win.