George Honeyman believes the extra competition for places in Sunderland’s midfield will prove hugely beneficial in the club’s fight for survival this season.
Sunderland are once again battling against the Premier League drop and are currently propping up the table, having amassed just 19 points from 25 games.
However, the Black Cats could potentially jump out of the bottom three this weekend if they manage to pick up a victory against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday and other results go their way.
The Toffees, who are on an eight-game unbeaten league run, are 1.40 favourites to clinch all three points, the draw is priced at 5.00 while the visitors are the 7.50 outsiders.
Manager David Moyes has been hampered by injuries over recent months and that has allowed the likes of Honeyman to be promoted from the youth team quicker than expected.
The 22-year-old, who joined the north-east outfit in 2004, has featured against West Brom and Tottenham in the top flight this season whilst also making one appearance in the FA Cup.
Sunderland, who are 1.25 favourites to get relegated, are set to welcome back some first-team players from injury soon with Jan Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole close to full fitness.
Darron Gibson, who arrived at the Stadium of Light in January from Everton, Jack Rodwell, Didier N’Dong and Sebastian Larsson are also fighting for starting spots and Honeyman insists the competition for places can only help the team in the battle against the drop.
He told futnsoccer.com: “The more competition for places we can get, the harder everyone is going to train and play, and that’s just natural, that happens in any team.”