Sebastian Larsson returned to action for the Sunderland Under-23s on Friday night with manager Andy Welsh describing his performance as ‘very good’, ‘very bright’ and ‘sharp’.
The midfielder sustained medial ligament damage in August but has returned to action sooner than expected.
Welsh said: “Seb had a little chat with the lads before the game and at half time, and the plan was for him to do 45 minutes.
“He won a lot of second balls as he would do because of his experience and I’m sure he will be back soon.
“The plan now is to give him a little bit more time in our EFL game next week against Notts County at the stadium and then hopefully he will be around the first team if the manager needs him after that.”
Welsh felt both sides had good opportunities to score but was delighted to see his side record their first win of the competition.
“I thought first half we played well, we had some really good chances that we didn’t convert but we went in [at half time] one [goal up].
“We had two or three first half [chances] and I thought they had a couple of really good chances, one that James Talbot made from a blank point header – that was a good chance.
“Second half we came out they were strong, played a lot of channelled balls and we had to defend and dig deep but it’s nice to get a win.”
Despite the victory, Welsh believes there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I think second half we have to be a lot better, we showed a little bit naivety tonight.
“We chased the ball instead of maybe slowing them down a little bit and that’s something we will need to look at for the Notts County game on Wednesday.