Danny Graham took his tally to three goals in two Under-21 outings after a brace in last night’s defeat to Liverpool.
Graham was a late substitute in Sunderland’s victory at Crystal Palace on Monday night and despite arriving back on Wearside in the early hours, the striker netted a brace yesterday, as they suffered a 4-3 extra-time defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League Cup.
It was the second successive encounter that Graham had started for the 21s, and coach Andy Welsh was pleased with the contribution of the ex-Swansea frontman.
Welsh said: “Danny wants to play and wants to get game-time. He didn’t get back until 2 or 3am from Palace, the same with Lynden Gooch. So to put on a performance like that was very good from him.”
Graham’s double came during a three-goal blitz inside 10 dramatic second half minutes, as Sunderland wiped out Liverpool’s 3-0 advantage.
At that stage, it looked like Sunderland would go on to win the encounter, yet it was Liverpool who progressed with an extra time winner.
“What a game of football in a lot of ways,” added Welsh.
“I was disappointed with the first half because we conceded three goals when we’ve been so good defensively.
“But we got a great response off the players in the second half. We went a little bit more direct, but to score three goals and get back into it was a mammoth task.
“When we got to 3-3, (Charis) Mavrias went one-on-one with the goalkeeper and if we’d scored there, we’d maybe have won it. Then it was touch and go, and perhaps their extra bit of quality just won the game for them.”