Sunderland boss Jack Ross was impressed with Glenn Loovens and Jerome Sinclair as they made their debuts last night – and he believes that the pair showed what they will offer this season.
Both players played 45 minutes in the abandoned friendly at Middlesbrough after becoming the Black Cats’ seventh and eighth summer signings.
Ross said defender Loovens’ leadership and determination would be crucial this season.
“Glenn is an interesting one because people from the outside will look at his age, but he has a real desire to succeed. He’s not come here to see out his career,” said Ross.
“If you see his influence on the training ground and on a matchday, it’s really positive.
“He takes his football very seriously and (last night) is the performance you expect from him – he played at a very good level.”
On-loan forward Sinclair played on the left of the front three and came close to scoring when his low shot was deflected wide by the boot of Boro keeper Darren Randolph.
The 21-year-old caused some problems for Boro’s defence and Ross believes that the ex-Liverpool youngster recognises that this season could be crucial for his career.
Ross said: “Jerome has had very little gametime and played slightly out of position, but I think he showed what he’ll give us.
“Again, he’s hungry. He’s not played a lot of football and could have done with playing more, but he recognises this is an opportunity to kick on.
“I’ve been impressed with his attitude since he came and how he has integrated himself and I was pleased with his performance.”