Sunderland boss reveals interesting message to Manchester United loanee

Tony Mowbray hopes that Amad's superb cameo against Wigan Athletic on Saturday will prove to be a significant moment in both the player and his team's season.

The Manchester United loanee had shown some exciting flashes of his talent in the early days of his time on Wearside, most notably in an impressive showing as Sunderland fought back to draw at Watford.

Mowbray felt that this was his best display yet, the 20-year-old brought on at half time as Lynden Gooch struggled with a foot problem.

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Amad played up front alongside Jack Clarke in a 4-4-2 but notable was how regularly he interchanged positions with the players around him, and even more significant was his defensive work-rate in helping to shut down some dangerous Wigan Athletic counter-attacks.

Amad made a major contribution to Sunderland's win over WIgan AthleticAmad made a major contribution to Sunderland's win over WIgan Athletic
Amad made a major contribution to Sunderland's win over WIgan Athletic

It remains to be seen if Amad has done enough to earn a place in the starting XI at Ewood Park on Tuesday night, with his head coach weighing up whether he will need the experience and defensive nous of Corry Evans back in his XI.

Either way the Ivory Coast winger will have an important part to play at some stage in the game.

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"I think Amad needed to prove to everyone, not just me, the lads here and the ones that are Sunderland through and through, they needed to see that he really cares about every single result and that he's on the same level as them," Mowbray said.

"He's a loan player and he showed on Saturday that he's ready to fight for the team.

"I see every day, the talent that he is unquestionable: the quickness of his feet, the softness of his touch, the deftness of his little flicks - he is some footballer.

"He just needs to bring it all together and the team needs to know that when he is on the pitch that he is going to help them win games and not drift in and out. He needs to run back as well as forwards, work hard, tackle, battle and challenge for headers - and he has done that for us. I really think he can enjoy his time here as a result because the talent is unquestionable.

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"Nothing seems to faze Amad, he takes everything in his stride, and he's one of the lads that we're integrating into the group.

"We've talked a lot about shooting more when he gets the opportunity and we'll keep working on that."

Mowbray has stressed that adding goals and assists to his game is the crucial next stage for Amad, while the head coach has also been weighing up where he best fits into the XI in the long run. The head coach feels his most natural role is to drive infield from the right flank, though that is a role currently being played to excellent effect by Patrick Roberts.

As Sunderland's senior strikers return to fitness the youngster's versatility will give Mowbray a lot of options within games, making the trust he has earned from this significant cameo all the more significant.