SUNDERLAND manager Lee Johnson enjoyed what he saw from his youngsters during their goalless friendly draw with Tranmere Rovers. 

The Black Cats didn't play out a classic at Prenton Park but a number of young players were in action and held their own against a strong League Two side. 

Anthony Patterson, Kenton Richardson, Tyrese Dice, Ollie Younger, Dan Neil, Sam Wilding, Ellis Taylor and Jack Diamond all started the game and gave the manager something to think aout heading into the season. 

"I enjoyed it. Obviously it had a different purpose today" Johnson told the club website. 

"I enjoyed the crowd and the singing section. I think they were good and obviously they appreciated that it was a young team and they encouraged them all the way and that was evident both in the stands and from the side but also on the pitch.

"It was a tough game that. They’ve got a lot of experience. We recognise from the Papa John’s Trophy final how tough a game it was so I was really pleased.

"You’re looking for the lads to play the philosophy, they did.

"Off the ball I thought we were really good. A couple of mistakes on the ball that led to their chances but it was pretty even steven in terms of chances.

"What you’re looking for? You’re looking for the understanding and the effort. You’re looking for the passion, the commitment and I thought the young players showed that so it gives us a chance to be able to bed them in and integrate them moving forward."

Sunderland's next pre-season friendly is on Friday evening at the Stadium Of Light against Championship side Hull City.