Jack Ross was pleased with the contribution Sunderland’s young guns made on Tuesday night, but he has admitted they still have plenty to learn.
Benji Kimpioka marked his first start in storming fashion against Carlisle United as he headed home Aiden McGeady’s cross inside two minutes.
The Swedish youngster played 86 minutes before being replaced by Lee Connelly who came on for his debut after Jack Diamond had replaced McGeady for his maiden bow also.
Speaking to safc.com, Ross hailed the trio’s contributions but admitted they are far from the finished article just yet.
“He has good attributes to his game, but he still has a lot to work on,” he said.
“He is 18 years old and you would expect that. We couldn’t have asked any more as a striker to score so early into the game.
“There is a lot of off the ball things he needs to work on, but he will probably be disappointed he didn’t add to his tally.
“It is another milestone for him. He has already made some first-team appearances but that was his first start and getting his first senior goal.”
He continued: “It is testament to the good work that goes in within the academy. Good work isn’t always reflected in the scoreline or how teams do weekly – particularly in the under-23s – it is about seeing ones who have the potential to progress and how they take their chances.
“It will serve as motivation to get the young lads to want more of it.
“They have had a taste of it, but you can never predict how their careers will turn out. I hope this is the start for them but again, this might just be the high point.
“I was pleased with each of their contributions – Benji started and Jack has been really good for the under-23s recently.
“He has taken on board a lot of the information we’ve tried to give him, and he has shown the quality in possession. Lee has a good energy to his game and he has an infectious nature about his play.”