Duncan Watmore to step up Sunderland comeback on Sunday afternoon

Watmore will play for the U23s on Sunday afternoon
Watmore will play for the U23s on Sunday afternoon

Duncan Watmore will step up his comeback from injury in Sunderland's U23 game against West Ham United this afternoon.

Watmore scored on his return against Manchester City last week, and Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has confirmed that he came through that clash unscathed.

He said: "Duncan came through that game fine. We had a plan this week of what training he would do and we have stuck to that.

"He will hopefully get another 45-60 minutes on Sunday for the U23s against West Ham and we'll see where we go from there.

"Of course I'd like to be pushing the medical team to have him back with me, but as I said last week I'm not going to take any risks with him and his livelihood.

"We've got a plan of action which we are going to stick to, and hopefully he will be back with us sooner rather than later because his return will be a massive boost for everybody."

Grayson also praised youngster Ethan Robson after he made his debut against Everton in the Carabao Cup.

Robson then went on to make his league debut as a late subsitute in the 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City.

Grayson said: "I've liked what I have seen. Ethan played quite a few pre-season games for us and has been doing well for the U23s.

"It was going to be a toss-up between him and Elliot Embleton as to who was going to be involved, and Ethan had done well in our last few sessions and in the games he had been involved so I gave him the opportunity.

"I didn't know that he hadn't made his debut, to be honest.

"As he came on, I asked him if this was his debut and he just had this big grin on his face and he said 'yeah'.

"It's a night he will never forget. I remember making my own debut at 17 years old – although I got cramp after 65 minutes and had to come off!

"But for Ethan it was a proud moment for him and his family," he added.

"He's made that step, and now he has to try and push the first-team players.

"He's not there to make up the numbers, he's there to be a part of it and affect the team."