Benji Kimpioka must do 'hell of lot more' to be Sunderland first team star, says coach

Benji Kimpioka has been warned he has to do 'a hell of a lot more' to make the grade in Sunderland's first team.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 11:45 am

The exciting forward netted the game’s opening goal in a closely contested 2-1 defeat against top-division Liverpool on Sunday at Hetton’s Eppleton CW, before an unlucky own goal and dubious penalty call handed The Reds victory.

The young attacker was provided with a chance to impress in the first-team by boss Phil Parkinson in the Leasing.com Trophy defeat to Leicester City under-23s last week but flattered to deceive and was withdrawn in the second half.

Dickman, however, offered his thoughts on what the 19-year-old Swedish striker must do to improve and challenge more regularly for a first-team spot.

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Sunderland U23s manager Elliot Dickman in touchline action at St James's Park.

“When he hasn’t got the ball, he’s got to show a better understanding of what his role is,” Dickman explained to The Echo. “He does switch off a bit when we haven’t got the ball.

“Again, I’ve known Benji since he was 16-years-old, so I’ve seen a development and I’ve seen an improvement.

“That’s fair play to him and to everybody that has worked with him in that period of time, but to take that next step he has to do it a hell of a lot more.”

The 41-year-old continued: “I’m in a very lucky position, I see what these lads can do on a day-to-day basis.

“The fact that we’ve done smashing today against what is a talented Liverpool side makes it disappointing to lose.”