Buckley: I’ll rise to Premier challenge

Sunderland new boy Will Buckley
Sunderland new boy Will Buckley
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WILL BUCKLEY is confident he can make the jump to the Premier League, once he acclimatises to life at Sunderland.

Winger Buckley completed his journey from League Two to the top flight last weekend, when he made his Sunderland debut as a substitute in the opening day draw at West Brom.

The £2.5million signing thrived at Championship level with Watford and Brighton after making the step up from boyhood club Rochdale, and believes he will be similarly able to bridge the gap with the Premier League over time.

Buckley said: “I think you improve when you play and train with better players.

“When I went from League Two to the Championship with Watford, for the first couple of months I struggled and then I saw myself improving from day-to-day.

“Hopefully that can be the same in the Premier League.

“You try to up your game and that’s what I will do.”

Buckley is expected to continue as a substitute for Sunday’s Stadium of Light opener against Manchester United, and the 24-year-old is keen to make his home debut in such a high-profile fixture.

“It would be special,” he said.

“I’m a local boy from Oldham, so I used to watch them as a kid.

“But a lot of my mates are United fans – they were the team to support when I was growing up.

“The main thing is we perform well and get the three points.”

If Buckley is introduced from the bench, he will hope to get a longer chance to impress in his natural right-wing role.

Buckley had just over 10 minutes there at The Hawthorns last weekend, before he was pushed backwards to right-back after Seb Larsson had levelled proceedings for Gus Poyet’s side in the closing stages.

“I might have played right-back before – probably under Gus, a couple of years ago!” he added.

“Growing up, I was always a striker, but, when I first broke into the professional scene, I started playing as a winger and I think that is my best position now.

“I think Gus has brought me to play on the wing!”