DAN Neill opened his Sunderland account in style against Accrington Stanley and the manager Lee Johnson says he's always had that in his locker. 

Neill carved out some space under a bit of pressure from the Stanley defence and rifled a shot from 25 yards on his weaker foot into the left-hand corner. 

The 19-year-old is still in the infancy of his professional career and yesterday was only his 16th appearance in all competitions for the Black Cats. However, he's staked his claim in Lee Johnson's side with some impressive performances in a squad with plenty of competition for places.

After scoring his first goal for the club, it's Neill's place in the side to lose but manager Johnson is impressed with the technical side of his game. 

He said: “We’ve worked so hard on Dan Neil’s shoulder position to make sure he receives it, not with his back to goal, so he’s open and playing forward. He’s got that ability and you see that everyday in training so it’s really nice to see that come to fruition.

“Actually, it wasn’t so much the finish, it was the way he manipulated the space for the finish which I think shows a real technical quality.

“I’m sure his family will be very proud and so will the academy and that’s a really nice thing because it builds the story.

“The narrative becomes consistent, there is a pathway and we will get you through. Yes you’ve got to perform. You can’t just have potential and have some attributes. You actually have to perform as well and that’s why it’s nice that he’s doing it.

“I knew he’d score goals because he’s such a good technician. I think we can build into areas of the pitch where he can score. I think Luke O’Nien can score goals as well with the timing of his runs and the technique he’s got and that’s what we need. We need threats all over the pitch.

“We can’t just be a one trick pony in terms of just one sole striker, we need red arrows making movements in the box and in and around the box."