SUNDERLAND striker Nathan Broadhead is hopeful he's given the club's coaching staff something to think about after scoring in their impressive Carabao Cup win over Wigan Athletic. 

Broadhead was handed a start at the DW Stadium in a side that saw eight changes from their weekend draw with Fleetwood Town. 

The 23-year-old netted in the first half finishing smartly to give the Black Cats the lead in what eventually turned out to be a 2-0 victory in Greater Manchester. 

Broadhead's first goal for the club comes at a time when the club are enjoying a very strong start to the season with just with just one defeat in 10 games. The club currently sit second in the table and are through to the last sixteen of the cup. 

Speaking on the squad, Broadhead said: "They are great.

"The positivity is great and all we want to do is win games and Sunderland is a massive club.

"The fans expect that and you have to try and perform for them and finish your chances."

The Everton loanee has his work cut out trying to get into Lee Johnson's starting eleven for league games. He's been a frequent member of the substitutes bench with Ross Stewart currently firing in the goals for the Black Cats with five to his name this season. 

Broadhead added: "I would say challenge him (Stewart). I’d like to work with him.
"He’s on fire at the moment and he’s a great player so I have to bide my time and maybe I can play up front with him one time but I respect the manager’s decision.

"I think we are different players. He’s taller than me obviously and more physical but I think we are different.

"I can play left wing, number 10, right wing as well."

After Broadhead's most recent outing, he's hopeful that he can play a part in Sunderland's next league game at home to Bolton Wanderers at the weekend.  

It still might only be early days in Broadhead's Sunderland stint but he says he's already learnt a lot from his experiences on Wearside. 

His only experience of league football prior to Sunderland was a loan spell at fellow League One side Burton Albion where he made 19 appearances and scored twice last season. He's also made two sub appearances for his parent club Everton. 

While Broadhead is lacking in game time and subsequently is lacking in match sharpness, he's using his time off the pitch to great effect to help him take his chances when they arrive. 

The 23-year-old said: "I’m learning every game under the manager and how he wants to play.

"It’s physical and I need to get used to that more, trying to use my moment to try and get away from defenders.

"I haven’t had a ninety minutes since last season so I just need to use these games as fitness and try my best.

"You have to respect his decision and the lads are doing well so I have to bide my time, do well in training and try to get my fitness up to try and be sharp to help the team score goals.

"It is more physical and technical but you have to learn from every game if you are playing Under-23s you just have to try your best."

That being said, he admits his time at Burton Albion has also proved to be important to his development. 

Speaking on what he learnt at the Pirelli Stadium, he added: "Quite a lot to be honest. 

"Obviously I was a left winger then but last season I played up front and I think that has changed the way I move around the pitch.

"I have more weight on and more muscle mass on, so I think that is only going to improve my game by building more weight.

"Since last season I have put a lot of weight on and muscle mass and that is only going to stand me in good stead so we’ll see."

Sunderland's recruitment push over the summer has seen them bring in an influx of younger talent including Broadhead. The likes of Dennis Cirkin, Callum Doyle, Niall Huggins, Thorben Hoffman and Leon Dajaku are the ones that would fall under that category as part of a new-look side. 

It's early days in the season for Sunderland but their blend of youth and experience has been paying off on the field with the likes of 19-year-old Dan Neil taking his chance in the first-team. 

For Broadhead and the cohort of youngsters in the squad, they have experience from the likes of Corry Evans and Aidan McGeady amongst others in the squad to feed off. 

Broadhead added: "The older lads are all positive in the changing room so positivity brings the best out of you and there is a good feeling around the camp.

"All you can do is try to win games."

Meanwhile, Sunderland are monitoring the fitness of full-back Huggins who started the win at the DW Stadium.

The 20-year-old limped off in the closing stages of their midweek cup win but the Black Cats medical staff don't expect it to be a lasting problem as manager Johnson described the problem as cramp. 

Bolton Wanderers travel to the Stadium of Light this weekend as they look to build on their strong start to the League One season with just two defeats from their first eight games.