Denver Hume steps up recovery as senior figures push claims in emphatic win for Sunderland U23s
A number of Sunderland players pushed their claims for first-team minutes in an emphatic 3-0 win for the U23's over Burnley on Monday afternoon.
In a major boost for Lee Johnson and the Black Cats, Denver Hume completed 75 minutes as he stepped his recovery from a hamstring injury that has so far kept him out of action for the entirety of 2021.
Having played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Gateshead last week, Hume's recovery from this latest outing will be assessed before a decision is made on his first-team return.
Josh Hawkes, who travelled with the senior squad for the 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers last weekend, continued his fine form in the U23s this season by scoring the opening goal against high-flying Burnley.
Talented winger Jack Diamond produced the assist, as he did for Ellis Taylor's goal just before the break.
The third was added by Chris Maguire in the second half, the experienced attacking midfielder gathering a short corner from Hawkes before scoring a 25-yard strike.
Maguire played 83 minutes as he topped up his match fitness, having been used primarily as an impact substitute by Johnson in recent times.
Diamond played 87 minutes before being replaced by Jake Hackett for the closing stages of the win.
Dan Neil and Anthony Patterson both played the entirety of the game.
The win lifted Sunderland further away from the bottom of the table after the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last week.
Elliot Dickman's side now sit ninth in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, seven points clear of West Brom at the bottom.