RYAN Noble hopes he has shot his way into Martin O’Neill’s thinking thanks to a superb cameo in Sunderland’s dramatic late win over Groningen yesterday.
The Black Cats ended their Peace Cup campaign on a high with two late goals, from Noble and Fraizer Campbell, adding to Connor Wickham’s first-half opener as Sunderland won the third-place play-off 3-2.
It was Noble, though, who helped turn the game Sunderland’s way when it looked as though it had gone.
In the 88th minute, the 19-year-old Wearsider held onto the ball and found Craig Gardner, whose cross was converted by Campbell for the equaliser.
And, in the last move of the game, Noble surged from just inside the Groningen half to the edge of the penalty area before rifling home an unstoppable shot.
In a joint Press conference with manager Martin O’Neill afterwards, Noble said: “You’re always looking to show the manager what you can do.
“It has been a great experience for me being out here on the tour and I’m learning all the time.
“But the main thing you’re trying to do in pre-season is impress the manager and I was pleased to play my part in the game.”
Noble has been out on loan three times – to Watford, Derby and Hartlepool – and believes his last spell was especially beneficial.
He scored two goals in nine appearances for Pools last term and said: “I enjoyed my time there and I think it made me a better player.
“But I’m definitely coming back this season wanting to have a good season and hopefully that goal is the perfect start.”
Meanwhile, Hamburg won the Peace Cup, beating Seongnam 1-0 in the final.