They do not have another Championship fixture until December and Tony Mowbray now has his first chance to have a few weeks to work with the team on the training pitch, having being thrown in at the deep end in August after Alex Neil’s departure.
However, he will not have a full squad to work with as two of his players are jetting off to Qatar to represent their countries at the tournament.
Jewison Bennette and Bailey Wright are in contention to feature at the World Cup for Costa Rica and Australia respectively with Mowbray saying this about the former:
“Jewison is a young boy who has got wonderful talent. It will be an amazing experience for him and he should go along, enjoy it and see what happens.
“There are some amazing teams in his group but try and do your country proud when you get an opportunity.”
The 18-year-old has a fantastic opportunity to showcase his talents on the world stage and he could return to the Stadium of Light as a player full of confidence heading into the second half of the campaign if he enjoys his time at the tournament.
Bennette, who journalist Josh Bunting called a “star boy“, is a promising young player with plenty of potential to grow and Mowbray could look to develop him into becoming his next Adam Armstrong for Sunderland.
The Black Cats boss worked with the current Southampton attacker at Coventry and Blackburn earlier in his career and developed him into being an attacker who regularly provided quality at the top end of the pitch.
Armstrong, who can play out wide on the left and through the middle as a centre-forward, scored 84 goals and provided 24 assists in 200 appearances whilst working with Mowbray over the course of five seasons with the two aforementioned clubs.
Bennette has shown promise as a goalscoring winger and could be utilised in a similar role to the Englishman by playing as an inside left forward or as a striker in a front two, like the current Saints man.
In the 2022/23 campaign, the 18-year-old has scored three goals and provided two assists in four starts for Sunderland and Herediano combined, whilst also scoring two goals in two caps for Costa Rica.
Therefore, Mowbray, who previously dubbed the gem “electric“, could unearth his next Armstrong by helping Bennette to add consistency to his game over the course of an entire season, allowing him to rack up big goalscoring numbers for the Black Cats.
He could develop into being a lethal scorer, who can also create for his teammates, as he gains more experience and adapts to life in England but it is now down to him and the Sunderland manager to ensure that he progresses in the coming months and seasons to come.