Tom Flanagan delivers this exciting verdict on Callum Doyle and Corry Evans after promising Sunderland debuts
Tom Flanagan has delivered an exciting verdict on Sunderland loanee Callum Doyle – after the youngster caught the eye on debut.
Doyle, who signed on loan from Manchester City last week, was the standout performer during the 2-0 win at Hearts.
He showed his quality in possession with a fine ball to help Sunderland win an early penalty, and looked defensively sound too.
And Flanagan believes there are big things to come from the 17-year-old in the future.
"He was really good,” said the Northern Ireland international.
"If he carries on playing like that I can't see him being with us for very long!
"But that's just football. I definitely wasn't that good at 17, so he's doing pretty well.”
And the central defender has also shed some light on what fans can expect from Corry Evans – who entered the game as a second half substitute.
He’s a player Flanagan knows well from international duty, and one who he feels will adapt well to the pressures of playing for Sunderland.
"What you saw today is what you'll get for the next 50 games,” he explained.
“He likes to play forward, he's got some neat little touches and likes to make a tackle. He's diving into tackles there at 80 minutes and letting everyone know about it.
"He's been at a big club so he knows what to expect when he walks out in the first game of the season and hopefully it will be close to a sellout.
"Some people might go in their shell, but I can't imagine Corry will be one of them. That's the kind of player that we need.”
The win against Hearts topped off a productive week north of the border for the Wearsiders, who enjoyed a four-day training camp in Edinburgh.
So what was the week like for Flanagan and his teammates?
"I expected Scotland to be much colder and maybe a bit wet! It's been good and we've had some new faces.
"It's been good for Callum coming in and you see him all the time, so it means we get to know each other so much quicker.”
And the on-field performance at Tynecastle was simply the icing on top of a productive week.
"I think that was what was important, to top the week off like that,” said Flanagan.
"They're two weeks ahead of us, have already played some competitive games, so I think ultimately - not even thinking about the result - we gave a good account of ourselves.
"We played some real good football. They played some good football and got through us a few times and we had to do some defending, but I don't really see the point in going and playing much lesser teams.
"I've been looking at results that other teams have had, beating people 7-0, 8-0, 9-0, I don't really know what you get from that. This was a real tough test and we've had a good week, and today was a tough game. We look at it as a good test all round.”