WILL BUCKLEY hopes he can continue to be a “nightmare” for opposition defenders after a hugely promising full debut for Sunderland.
Buckley faced a baptism of fire for his first Premier League start in Sunday’s Stadium of Light clash against Manchester United after taking the ill Adam Johnson’s place in the starting XI.
But the winger responded with a sparkling display, just 10 days after completing a £2.5million move from Brighton.
Sunderland head coach and ex-Brighton boss Gus Poyet described Buckley afterwards as a “nightmare” for defenders, due to his directness and willingness to take people on.
Buckley has pledged to continue to play his natural game and believes there is even more to come, once he has fully acclimatised to the Premier League.
“I try to stretch the game and that’s what the manager brought me for, to get the ball as much as I can and get at players,” he said.
“That’s one of the best aspects of my game, so I was always looking to do that.
“The difference from playing in the Championship is that you do get time to play a lot deeper.
“It’s that last third where it gets a lot more difficult. That will be the thing I aim to do in the future - score goals and make them.
“I loved every minute (of his debut). You get a bit nervous before every game, whatever level you play at.
“But I like to think I took it in my stride and there’s plenty more to come.”
Buckley could remain in the Sunderland side for tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup second round clash at Championship Birmingham City, even if Johnson has shaken off his illness.
Poyet has limited options to tinker with his starting XI and Buckley is braced to be involved at St Andrew’s against a Birmingham side managed by ex-Sunderland midfielder Lee Clark.
“The manager said there won’t be that many changes, so everybody needs to be ready for tomorrow,” added Buckley.
“Hopefully we can put in a good performance in the cup.
“I suppose it’s ideal for me, going back to a Championship ground. It’ll be a tough test and hopefully we can come away with a win.”