Sunderland AFC news: Moyes 'great' with club youngsters, Belgian scouting mission, Defoe speaks

Gooch has graduated to the senior squad under David Moyes
Gooch has graduated to the senior squad under David Moyes
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Here's your lunchtime round-up of all the main Sunderland headlines from around the world.

Praise for Moyes youth approach

We caught up with Sunderland U23's boss Elliott Dickman after his team's very impressive 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday night.

He spoke of his delight at George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch's progression (they missed the game to be in New York with the first team squad) and praised Moyes' approach to the youngsters.

He said: “George and Lynden add huge quality to the group, they’ve been in and around the first team – the fact that they’ve been there tells you they’re good players, so they’d have added something to the group.

“The lads who were out there, every one put a real good shift in and at times played some nice stuff. Some of them have been around the first team – Elliot and Joel, Ethan and Tommy Robson, Michael Ledger – so they’ve been around the first team, whether on the bench or in training, so they’ve done great.

“The manager’s great with that, getting them across to train. That experience will really benefit us as a group.”

Scouting mission

Respected Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur has revealed that Sunderland are one of a number of clubs with scouts at tonight's Europa League clash between K.A.A Gent and Tottenham.

Nothing unusual there but interesting nonetheless.

The Belgian side have some highly-rated players, particularly Malian winger Kalifa Coulibaly.

Of course, they could always be lining up a swoop for our favourite left-back Danny Rose...

Defoe proud to be up there with Sunderland greats

Will Jermain Defoe land his best every goals tally for a Premier League season?

Very probably, an outstanding achievement given the quality of the side around him. It is why many Sunderland fans put him up there with Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips, something which makes the 34-year-old very proud.

He's told us: “It doesn’t matter what position you play, you always want to do well and you look at the players who have played for the football club and if I can do that then great.

“You read things from the fans on social media and they say ‘you remind me of Kevin Phillips’.

"When you arrive at a new club you want to get off to a good start and it has been great how it has gone in terms of the goals I have scored. “I am grateful for how the fans have taken to me. The fans took to me straight away.”