Phil Parkinson discusses Jack Diamond's Sunderland rise and the U23 signing catching his eye

Phil Parkinson says Jack Diamond is showing his quality in an unfamiliar role for Sunderland.
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An injury to Jordan Willis in the first half of the 2-0 win at the County Ground presented the youngster with an unexpected opportunity to make his mark.

It was the 20-year-old's first league appearance for The Black Cats, and he played his part in securing yet another clean sheet.

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"It's different for him because the wing-back role is different to where he has played in his career so far," Parkinson said.

Jack Diamond made his Sunderland league debut on SaturdayJack Diamond made his Sunderland league debut on Saturday
Jack Diamond made his Sunderland league debut on Saturday

"We're teaching him that position and he gives us a different outlet in that position as well, because of the pace he has and the fact that he is direct.

"He's also getting better at the other side of the game, in understanding when to press and when not to press.

"You only get that from time on the training pitch and game time as well."

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Parkinson's matchday selection was also notable in that presented an opportunity to Oliver Younger, a centre-back signed for the U23 setup from Burnley this summer.

Younger has impressed Parkinson and jumped ahead of Brandon Taylor in the pecking order for selection.

"He's trained well and we've been pleased with him," Parkinson said.

"He's just gone above Brandon in the pecking order and that's just the way football is sometimes.

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"He's come in and played well for the U23s, and I've enjoyed working with him."

Parkinson's defensive options will be bolstered on Tuesday night for the visit of Crewe Aleandra, with Tom Flanagan and Dion Sanderson both expected to be available.

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