The behind-the-scenes work that helped Southampton loanee make his mark at Sunderland
Jamie McAllister believes Sunderland will see the benefits of the extra work Jake Vokins has been doing behind the scenes in the weeks ahead.
Vokins endured a frustrating start to his loan spell on Wearside but returned to the starting line up on Wednesday evening and delivered an assured display in a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley.
That was the Southampton loanee's first appearance since the 3-0 over Burton Albion last month and McAllister says he has been working in that time on improving his game.
"It was brilliant for him," McAllister said.
"He performed really well and that was great to see.
"We've been doing a lot of work with Jake recently. We gave him a development plan that we wanted him to work on, and Southampton had already sent us stuff that they wanted him to improve on.
"So he's been working on all of that, doing individual work and extra stuff after training. There's been a lot of video analysis work as well.
"He's a great kid and he's always wanting to learn and get better.
"He knows what he needs to improve and he's really keen to work on that.
"It was a great to see him get minutes."
McAllister says Vokins' performance has left Lee Johnson with a selection headache ahead of Lincoln City's visit, given that Callum McFadzean has been a regular in the side of late.
Competition in that area of the pitch will increase significantly over the next week, with Denver Hume edging ever closer to a first-team comeback.
Hume has been in full training this week and is set to play in a behind-closed-doors game ahead of the trip to Bristol Rovers next weekend.
"It gives the gaffer a headache," McAllister said.
"They're all pushing.
"Callum has been consistent and has a good relationship with Geads down the left.
"Then Jake has come in and done really well, so there's a bit of a headache there in terms of the Lincoln game and moving forward.
"Then you have Denver coming back, which gives us options where we know they can all do a really good job for us."