Denver Hume is keen to seize his chance in Sunderland’s first team after manager Jack Ross sent a clear message to his fellow youngsters.
The full-back was the Black Cats’ standout performer during the goalless draw with Stoke City having been handed a chance by Ross.
And Hume has revealed that the Sunderland boss has already told the club’s clutch of promising youngsters that opportunities are there for them to take this season.
Hume, along with Josh Maja and Bali Mumba, has been a regular in first team squads this season with the trio catching the eye - and the defender is delighted with the trust Ross is putting in the next generation.
“I think it's great,” he admitted.
“You mentioned a couple of names there [Mumba and Maja] and I think it's great that the staff have given us that opportunity.
“What they've said to us is that if you're good enough, you're young enough as well.
“If we keep working hard and do everything they say I think they will give us a chance.”
One player to receive that chance this season has been striker Maja, who has enjoyed an impressive season having netted four times already.
And seeing a fellow youngster impress is proving to be a catalyst for Hume as he seeks a regular first team role.
“When you see people getting their chances that pushes you on,” the full-back added.
“Josh Maja, he's done great this season and that makes other people want to push on and see what they can do when they push up to the first team.”
Hume’s first team involvement this season has often seen him utilised as a right-back, with Ross moving the 22-year-old over from his favoured left-hand side.
That move has meant the early games of the season have been a learning curve for the defender, but he is enjoying the new challenge posed by a positional switch.
“I've being playing on the right but I just have to try and take my opportunity no matter where I'm playing,” Hume added.
“Obviously it's a new position for me and I'm learning it but I think it adds something else to my game so I'm enjoying that.”
There could be a chance for Hume to return to his favoured left side on Saturday, however.
With Bryan Oviedo away on international duty there will have to be a replacement sourced from somewhere - but Hume is refusing to focus on that, and is instead intent on continuing to impress his new manager.
“It would be great if I got my chance,” he admitted.
“But at the minute I'm just trying to do everything I can in training and keep impressing the manager and other staff and see where it takes me. “