George Honeyman: Waiting for first Sunderland start has been tough

George Honeyman
George Honeyman made nine appearances during a loan spell with Gateshead last season

Midfielder George Honeyman says the long wait to make his first start for Sunderland has been difficult.

The 22-year-old, who came off the bench twice in 2015 and 2016, was an unused substitute nine times this year.

He finally made his first start in Tuesday's FA Cup defeat by Burnley and told BBC Newcastle: "I am not used to playing for the first team, so it is not like I expect to play.

"It is tough to keep mentally preparing and thinking I am going to play."

Sam Vokes and Andre Gray scored for Burnley in the FA Cup third-round replay at Turf Moor as Sunderland's winless run was stretched to six matches.

But the bright spot for the Premier League strugglers was the appearance of Honeyman in the starting XI, having joined Sunderland's academy at the age of 10.

"I thought that it might come for a few weeks now, especially with the amount of injuries," he continued.

"I've tried to stay mentally ready and waited for the chance to come.

"I'm just glad to get out there and hopefully next time I can have a bit more of a positive impact, but it's a good day for my family, making my full debut, although that's in the back of my head at the minute."

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