Sunderland have suffered plenty over the last few years, but at the moment they are in a strong position in League One.
Jack Ross’s side are currently second in the standings, three points adrift of leaders Portsmouth after 16 games.
On Tuesday night, attention turned to the Checkatrade Trophy, which saw a handful of youngsters get a runout.
The star of the show was Josh Maja, who scored his 10th goal of the season with a late strike over Morecambe to send the Black Cats through to the last 32 as Group A winners.
The 19-year-old has been on Sunderland’s books since 2015 when he joined their academy from Fulham.
This season so far, the forward has played in 15 league matches, scoring nine times for the North-East outfit.
The teenager’s latest heroics, in which he ended a goal drought that stretched back to the beginning of October, have got the fans talking, with many confident that he can become a key figure at the club.
After he found the back of the net, plenty of supporters were quick to tweet their praise.
Epitome of a Fox in the box. His finishing is so natural it’s scary for his age!
— Dave Lawrence (@DaveLawrence208) November 13, 2018
Need to tie him down to a longer term deal sooner rather than later. But sure that is progressing positively.
— stu tench (@tenchylad) November 13, 2018
Brilliant finish from the lad tonight. Confidence is growing with every game. Had my doubts but fair play to him for proving me wrong. #SAFC
— Gary Bellamy (@Gaz_Bellamy) November 13, 2018
Great for him to break his little duck. Thought he would struggle after the break so glad to see him grab one again.
— disco (@newtsfever) November 13, 2018
Josh Maja he scores when he wants #SAFC
— George (@GeorgeSAFCx) November 13, 2018
He’s Maja, you knooooooow #SAFC
— AD8 (@AdamDavison8) November 13, 2018
8 consecutive wins in all comps. That’s good going at any level. Double figures for the season for Maja. All good #safc
— Allan Davis (@davis0688) November 13, 2018
— Ian Scott (@scotti1973) November 13, 2018