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Elliott Dickman has this message for the SIX Sunderland youngsters in the first team squad

As many as SIX Sunderland youngsters could be in the first team squad tomorrow
As many as SIX Sunderland youngsters could be in the first team squad tomorrow
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Sunderland under-23 boss Elliott Dickman has urged his players to make an impression on Jack Ross - with as many as six set to form part of the squad for the Checkatrade Trophy game with Carlisle.

Injuries, suspensions and international call-ups have left Ross with a threadbare first team squad, with fourteen players set to miss the second group stage game.

While that presents some dilemmas for the Black Cats, it also presents an opportunity for a clutch of the club's youngsters - with Dickman revealing that 'five or six' will report for duty with the senior squad tomorrow.

Speaking after the 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic, the under-23 chief confirmed their involvement - and urged them to grasp the opportunity with both hands.

"I think there will be a number of them in the squad," he admitted.

"A few of them will report but whether they’re on the bench or not on the bench I’m not sure.

"But I do know there’s a good five or six from tonight that have been asked to report for the game.

"Make an impression," he added, when asked if he had a message for those involved.

"Whether you actually get on the pitch or don’t, you can always make an impression in a number of ways.

"If you are lucky enough to be on the team sheet or get some minutes, just go out there, give it your all and enjoy it."

Dickman also praised Ross' new-look coaching staff who, as they have been throughout the campaign, were once again in attendance at Eppleton CW to watch the club's promising youngsters.

And indeed, the first team staff are taking on an active role in encouraging the next generation - something which has greatly pleased Dickman.

"The support that the first team staff have given this group of players is phenomenal and it’s quite unique," he added.

"I haven’t seen that for a while.

"There have been managers who have supported it, but now have first team staff in the dressing room after the game talking to the lads and that shows we’re all one and all want what’s best for the players - and that’s to play first team football."