Jack Ross has backed Luke O’Nien to bounce back after the 23-year-old was sacrificed at half-time on Saturday.
O’Nien was thrown straight into the starting line-up to face Charlton Athletic, despite not being able to play with his new team-mates during the pre-season programme.
Ross replaced O’Nien with Jerome Sinclair as he moved to a 3-5-2 system that got Sunderland back into the game and helped to eventually seal the three points.
The Black Cats boss said that O’Nien has great potential, however, and expects him to go on and enjoy a successful season.
He said: “It was a decision to change the system to get Jerome on the pitch. It was hard to throw Luke in today in terms of the way we play because its different to what we have been used to.
“He has only just come to the club, he is getting to know players names and adjusting to training. He was delighted we won the game.
"He is young lad who was brought here for partly his potential as well. He will play an important part of this season.”
Ross was thrilled to see his players begin the season with a win, celebrating wildly with his backroom staff as Lynden Gooch stooped at the back post to head home a memorable winner.
The Scot admitted it was one of the most ‘incredible’ moments in his managerial career so far and wants his team continue to build a rapport with the home support.
Ross said: “All the time in football your highlights always shift because the most recent becomes the most enjoyable.
“In management I have had quite a lot of good times in the last couple of years, but for noise, intensity after those goals it was incredible.
“You don’t get that in many football stadiums, that level of passion and reaction to scoring goals, it was fantastic to be part of it and makes you want more of it.
“It will never determine your season but for us, for what the club has been through, what the fans have had to endure and experienced, it almost felt cleansing if you like.
“I think they came, stuck with us massively, they saw a team that was passionate about playing. There were mistakes, of course they did, but it was young side who will experience things together on and off the pitch was really powerful, that can get a stronger bond.”