Sunderland boss Simon Grayson believes centre back is Tyias Browning's strongest position.
The versatile 23-year-old Everton defender joined Sunderland on a season-long loan deal earlier this month and can play in the middle or at right back.
Grayson, who worked with him at Preston North End last season where he played the majority of games at full-back, believes Browning is at his best in central defence.
Browning won praise from Grayson following his display in the 2-1 win over National League side Hartlepool United at Victoria Park on Tuesday night, where he partnered Lamine Kone.
"I know centre back is his strongest position," said Grayson.
"At Preston, he predominantly played at right-back but I thought he did well [against Hartlepool], showing strength, power and calmness on the ball.
"It was nice for him to get 60 minutes and we’re building up the fitness.
"A few of the lads got 90 minutes under their belts but one or two players had a couple of niggles, so we’ll see how they are for the weekend."
Sunderland travel to Valley Parade to face Bradford City on Saturday in their latest pre-season friendly.