Paul Bryson wants to see more from his players when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the Academy of Light this weekend.
Sunderland under-18s are back in Premier League Cup action this Saturday, kick-off 11am, as they look to keep alive their hopes of advancing from group C.
Having taken one point from their opening two matches, Bryson knows only victory is good enough in the youth team’s final game of 2018.
Speaking to safc.com, the under-18s boss also highlighted the need for his players to step up and fight for their careers.
“There’s still loads to play for because at this stage of the season we’re judging the players on their contracts and their future careers,” he said.
“The second years, especially, really need to give it their best shot between now and the end of the season.
“The first-years need to push the second years to cement their positions and then you have younger lads coming through who are also wanting a chance, so the cycle never really stops.
“Logan Pye is going to play on Saturday against Brighton,” he continued.
“Although he is only 15, he has regularly been the under-16s’ best player so he deserves his chance and it’s actually an area which we aren’t blessed with.
“That will only benefit him in the long run.”