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Sunderland can't just 'talk the talk' on youth development, says Kristjan Speakman

By Michael Graham,


Reasons for failing to add experience to the Sunderland squad in January explained.

Kristjaan Speakman says Sunderland can’t just ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to developing young players.

Sunderland were dealt a major blow last month with the news the captain Corry Evans would be out for the season with a serious knee injury,

After that news, Tony Mowbray said he would like a little help in replacing that experience in the team, but no deal materialised.

However, Speakman says the club believes in the young players such as Dan Neil, Edouard Michut, Pierre Ekwah and Abdoullah Ba to step in and flourish and, after the promises the club have made about trusting youth, it’s vital they get those opportunities.

“Edouard needs to play, Dan Neil needs for his career to step up and lead, Abdoullah has to step in the team and show a consistency,” Speakman told the Sunderland Echo .

“We need to see all these things so then you can make the right judgement on how the squad evolves.

“We have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It’s easy for Tony not to put Riggy (15-year-old Chris Rigg) on when a tie against Fulham is in the balance, really easy not to bring him on when you go 1-0 down to Shrewsbury - but we’ve committed to this strategy.

“We want Edouard to play, we want to give Pierre opportunities.”

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