Lynden Gooch has firmly established himself as a key Sunderland player under Jack Ross with the attacker thriving in an unfamiliar role.
Gooch has been deployed at right wing-back for much of the campaign in Ross’ 3-5-2 formation.
And the 22-year-old USA international’s form has been a key factor in Sunderland’s solid start to life in the third tier.
The Black Cats moved into third following the comfortable 4-1 victory over Rochdale at the Stadium of Light.
Josh Maja scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season, with Gooch also bagging a brace in a brilliant display.
Gooch, more used to playing in a more advanced role, has won praise from Ross who is keen for Gooch to keep exploiting the one v one situations he finds himself in against opposing defenders.
Ross said: “Lynden is the type that has a terrific attitude towards the game.
“When he was asked to play that role, it was a new one for him.
“Last week we looked at the games we had been best in and in what way, looked at some of the individual players and Lynden’s best performances have been in that role.
“He gets isolated more easily against opposition in that position, it suits him, it suits his attributes.
“He is willing to do the defensive side too, he was good all game.
“He was bright all game and the quality showed with his two goals.”
Gooch now has three goals to his name following his opening day winner over Charlton at the Stadium of Light.
Home has become a happy hunting ground for Gooch this campaign, with the forward now at home in his right wing-back role.