Jack Ross reveals what Duncan Watmore told him as he targets return to Sunderland first team

Duncan Watmore returned to action for the U23s on Monday evening.
Duncan Watmore returned to action for the U23s on Monday evening.
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Duncan Watmore is in line to return to competitive first team action for Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy against Notts County next week.

Watmore played 57 minutes as the U23s lost 3-1 to Middlesbrough on Monday, the forward missed a penalty but looked lively after returning from a second ACL injury.

Sunderland host County at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday in the knock-out tie of the Checkatrade Trophy.

And Ross has revealed Watmore is likely to be involved, though he is yet to decide whether he will start or potentially come off the bench.

Ross said: “All being well he will be involved Tuesday, that is the plan. We were potentially looking at another Under-23 game.

“I always wanted his opinion first, rather than me try and influence him in any way, he put it to me he would like to be involved in the squad for Tuesday.

“All being well that’s what will happen, it is a competitive first team game so his involvement in that will be brilliant. To have him available is brilliant, the timing of it.”

Ross, who watched Watmore’s return for the U23s, added: “After a long time out I thought all things considered he was really good.

"We spoke to him after the game and had a couple of days to settle, physically he was a bit stiff but mentally he was really upbeat.

“The game helped him, with the challenges and the heavy pitch as well.

“It was a good a test as you would get for 60 minutes, I am really pleased for Duncan plus all the good people working with him; Paul Walsh and Peter Brand in particular and the people at the club before.

“They were probably more nervous than Duncan on the night!”