RYAN NOBLE hopes his hat-trick heroics have thrust him back into Steve Bruce’s thinking.
The Sunderland striker notched a derby treble in last night’s reserve clash with Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light, as the Black Cats ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Noble made three substitute appearances for the first team last season during the injury crisis which engulfed Sunderland in the second half of the campaign.
But the 19-year-old’s hopes of forcing his way into the frame this year were hit during the summer after suffering a recurrence of his long-standing back problem, which sidelined him for three months.
With fellow frontman Connor Wickham ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury though, Noble’s exploits could see him included on the bench for Saturday’s clash with Fulham after impressing watching Sunderland boss Bruce.
Noble told the Echo: “All I can do is keep working hard in training and showing the manager what I can do in games, like last night.
“I need to make sure he’s always thinking about me in the back of his mind.
“Any chance you get in the first team, either through injuries or suspension, you’ve got to take it and do your best in front of the manager.
“Hopefully if I get another chance, I can take it this time.”
Noble notched twice in the final 10 minutes of a scrappy first half before completing his hat-trick just 12 seconds after the interval.
The Millfield-born hitman, who took his tally for the season to four, revelled in his scoring exploits – celebrating in front of the travelling Newcastle fans after his first two goals.
Noble added: “I’ve been a Sunderland supporter all my life so to play at the Stadium of Light anytime, in front of any amount of people, is always great.
“But scoring a hat-trick at the Stadium of Light against Newcastle is a great moment.
“I haven’t scored for a couple of games, so I was looking to score in this one. When the ball gets in the box, I fancy myself to finish.
“The lads were full of confidence after a few good results and to get the job done with a 3-0 win is fantastic.”