Academy graduate Ethan Robson has praised Lee Cattermole and John O’Shea for their influence on him.
The 21-year-old made his first league start for Sunderland in the 1-0 win over Hull City and the midfielder has singled out the experienced duo for their calming influence.
Robson said: "Making my league debut was a great feeling. I had all my family there and it was a really proud day.
"We knew the team on Friday and when my name was read out it was a great feeling.
"You get nerves on the morning and then once you get out there you look to focus on the game and the nerves go.
"Catts helped me a lot in that game, it was non-stop communication from him, John O’Shea helped me out too, telling me where to go and when.
"I felt those two really helped me."
He added: "Under-23s football is a lot different to first team and I am ready for the next step now."