Jack Ross delivers his verdict as academy prospect makes his first league appearance

Jack Ross admits that Benjamin Kimpioka is still an 'enigma', but has backed the 18-year-old to push for more opportunities this season.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 12:43 pm
Sunderland youngster Benji Kimpioka

An extensive injury list saw Kimpioka handed his first place in a league squad for the visit of Peterborough United on Tuesday night.

With the ten men of the home side tiring in the latter stages, Kimpioka was given his chance and he was inches away from turning an Aiden McGeady effort towards goal.

Sunderland youngster Benji Kimpioka

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A late surge for the box also lifted the crowd in the dying embers of the game.

Ross says the youngster has the necessary attributes to make an impression in senior football.

"He's an enigma at times.

"He's got really good attributes. It's just about trying to piece it all together.

"He only played half the game last night for the U23's because we knew that he was going to be on the bench and that he might have to play a part in the game.

"I'm delighted for him to make his league debut, it's a big thing for a young man.

"Even in those few minutes on the park he showed that he's got the attributes, if he keeps working hard in the U23's and around us then he's going to have every chance of getting more opportunities as the season unfolds."

Kimpioka caught the eye of Ross in pre-season as the Swedish forward plundered goals in the U23 set-up.

He then scored in a first team friendly at Hartlepool United as Ross continued to try and piece together his squad.

A concussion early in the campaign curtailed his progress but he did feature in the Checkatrade trophy against Stoke City U21's and so is likely to be involved for the visit of Carlisle next week.

With Charlie Wyke sidelined and Duncan Watmore still edging his way back to fitness, there could be more opportunities on the horizon for the 18-year-old.