GREEK winger Charis Mavrias hopes he has played his way into Gus Poyet’s thinking after scoring the match-winner against Kidderminster Harriers at the weekend.
The 19-year-old’s fine finish in the fifth minute was enough to send the much-changed Black Cats side through to the last 16 of the FA Cup.
And with Sunderland drawing Southampton at home in the next round, rather than one of the Premier League big guns away, the teenager can dream of more involvement.
He told the Echo: “Goalscoring is an important part of my game and I need to score as well as give assists if I am to make progress at the club.
“Scoring is an important part of my game, but it’s also the way I have to play if I am to be successful here.
“I try not only in the game but every day in training to do my best.
“So I work hard and I work to take my chance when it comes and, having settled in at the club now, I’m doing everything I can to get more involvement in the first team.”
Mavrias is now hoping Sunderland can do as well in one cup competition this season as they have done in the other.
“The team has performed so well in the Capital One Cup to reach the final and it would be great if we could do just as well in the FA Cup too,” said the former Panathinaikos player. “Maybe with a few more members of the squad helping out.
“It would be nice if a few of us who played against Kidderminster could get a chance in the next round too.”
Sunderland reached the next stage after a victory over the Conference side which was far more complete than the 1-0 scoreline suggested.
It was memorable for Mavrias, though, in marking his first goal in English football.
He recalled: “I found the ball at my feet suddenly and the only thing in my mind was to hit the target – which I did.
“It wasn’t a difficult thing to do, I could see the target right in front of me and I just made sure I hit it.
“I’m very happy to have the goal and even more happy because I helped the team get through to the next round.
“Kidderminster were good, intelligent opponents who created a few decent chances, but it was hard for us because we had so many chances to score and didn’t take them..
“With the team we had, we should have scored more goals on the day and we were all a bit disappointed that we didn’t.”