Lynden Gooch reveals what he has to do to become Sunderland regular - and sheds light on Chris Coleman impact

Lynden Gooch in action at Wolves.
Lynden Gooch in action at Wolves.
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Lynden Gooch feels he has to “lock down” a position if he is to achieve his dream of becoming a regular starter for Sunderland.

The 21-year-old academy product has played in several positions since breaking into the first team picture with versatile Gooch comfortable out wide, up front, in the No.10 role or in midfield.

In only his fourth league start of the season, Gooch starred in the hard-fought goalless draw against Wolves in midfield - his tireless performance helping ten-man Sunderland to a big point.

But Gooch admits his versatility can sometimes be a hindrance as he looks to impress his fifth manager since Dick Advocaat handed him his debut in a League Cup win over Exeter City in August 2015.

The USA international favours the No.10 role and hopes to be able to cement a regular starting spot under Chris Coleman.

“I think for a young player it has been difficult as you have to establish yourself with every manager,” said Gooch.

“For me, the main thing is to lock down an actual position.

“I have played everywhere, sometimes that might be a big reason why I can’t lock down a place because I play in so many different positions.

“Hopefully I can do that under this manager and become more of a mainstay in the team.

“I see myself more as a No 10. I have played as a striker this season and done well at times, I like to play behind a main striker.

“That’s where I can do more damage I suppose and create more opportunities and assists and goals and that is what I did coming through the Academy.

“Hopefully that can be a place where I can play.

“I am flexible and can play in multiple positions and fill in. I have been playing as a striker, out wide and also in midfield against Aston Villa.

“I need to nail down a certain position.”

Injury-ravaged Sunderland are currently without several first team players with Duncan Watmore, Lamine Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Jonny Williams among those unavailable to Coleman.

It has, though, opened up opportunities for the younger players with Coleman starting Gooch alongside 23-year-olds George Honeyman, Donald Love and Tyias Browning at Molineux, with Brendan Galloway (21) and Elliot Embleton (18) coming off the bench.

Gooch, ahead of the visit of Fulham, said: “It has been a difficult period for everyone but it has been great working under the new manager.

“He is very direct in his approach and what he wants from his players. That is good. He is very clear.

“It has been really good so far, everybody has been working tremendously hard on the training pitch and hopefully we can start to pick up the results.

“It was a fantastic point at Wolves, everyone dug in, you could see the togetherness.

“I am just happy to be in the team and hopefully I can stay in the team, I worked as hard as I could.”