Lynden Gooch says Sunderland’s U23s’ disappointing defeat to Manchester United has at least boosted David Moyes’ first team selection options.
Gooch, George Honeyman and Donald Love all completed 90 minutes in the 3-1 loss on Monday, with Honeyman grabbing the consolation goal in stoppage time.
Sunderland were also boosted by the return of Jan Kirchhoff, who completed 64 minutes at Hetton.
Gooch has endured a frustrating period since returning from an ankle ligament injury, and was not part of the squad that lost 2-0 to Manchester City.
However, he feels he is ready to step in and aid Sunderland’s fight against relegation if needed.
He said: “A little bit, yes [disappointed with result]. The first goal was a penalty which was obviously frustrating, and then the second goal was a deflection, so at 2-0 immediately you’re under pressure.
“But from my point of view, I needed minutes to stay sharp in case I am needed for the first team.
“I need more time on the pitch. It’s frustrating not being involved but I have to be ready in case I am called upon.
“We all want to play so we need minutes to stay sharp and make sure we are ready in case there are more injuries or if the manager picks us.”
Gooch says Kirchhoff will help the Black Cats get control in midfield, an area where they have struggled for much of this season.
He said: “He’s a player who can control things, who can control games from midfield.
“We need him back because he is an important figure in the squad who can solidify the midfield and just in front of the back four.”