Stephen Elliott: The bold Lee Johnson call that paid off for Sunderland

I was delighted to see Oliver Younger come into the side at the weekend.

It was a slightly bold call by Lee Johnson

The manager could have easily shuffled his pack, leaning on the side of cautiousness, and not played the young lad.

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He was rewarded with a very assured performance by Younger. Again credit has to be given to the new boss and the player obviously.

Lee Johnson shows his appreciation.

This faith shown by the manager will be a huge lift for some of the other young lads in and around the squad.

I can’t help but feel Lee Johnson already ‘gets’ the club and the city and we are now starting to see a fluidity in the squad that we could have only dreamed about a few months back.

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As I said last week I sincerely believe this squad can achieve automatic promotion and the more I listen to the manager speak that belief just grows.

Obviously it’s another mammoth game at Fratton Park tonight. If the team can pick up three points and then follow it up with that elusive win at Wembley at the weekend, energy levels will be through the roof at the Academy of Light.

When a new owner takes over a club it can sometimes take a while for things to turnaround but since Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has come in you can’t help but feel that a huge dark cloud has been lifted really quickly.

You can probably sense I’m getting a bit excited about things reading this but surely now that excitement is warranted.

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