David Moyes is considering shuffling his midfield options - with Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong both in contention to start at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Sunderland boss concedes the team has been missing experience in recent Premier League games.
And with the Black Cats winless and second bottom, he is looking to tinker with his midfield ahead of the game at White Hart Lane on Sunday (4.30pm kick-off).
Moyes says the arrival of Ndong has taken some of the pressure off rushing Cattermole - who has been training for the past two weeks - back after his double hernia operation.
But he admits he needs some older, experienced heads in the side.
“It does a bit, I don’t need to push so hard for Lee,” said Moyes.
“But I have been missing a bit of experience, I have been feeling that.
“The young boys have done great for us.
“We have a real tough game at Tottenham and I have to think about going there with an experienced team that I feel can go there and do the job.
“That might be something that I have to think about.
“I might need to use him [Cattermole], depending.
“Again, it is different to seeing them in training, when they go into the game what level are they at?
“With Jan Kirchhoff, at least he got 90 minutes at Rochdale to build his fitness.
“I think with Catts, he didn’t have a great deal of pre-season very few games.
“He has missed quite a bit of training so I want him to get where he is training every day.
“Hopefully, maybe this will be the cure to that.”
Ex-Lorient midfielder Ndong came on for the final 20 minutes against Everton after arriving on deadline day.
Moyes is keen not to put added pressure on the 22-year-old’s shoulders.
But when asked about record £13.6million signing Ndong, Moyes said: “He is in my thoughts.
“Ideally, we would have bedded the new players in a lot slower but I think we are in a position were we are having to see what they can do.
“More importantly, I probably need his energy and his drive; that is what he has got.
“He is young. I don’t think we can expect him to be the ready made article just yet, I hope what people see is the potential, potential to turn into a really good player.
“Again, we have brought someone not just for now but for later on as well.”
Steven Pienaar is also back in contention after returning to training after a hamstring injury.
But Moyes will be without Fabio Borini (thigh) and Vito Mannone (elbow) who are both long-term injuries, while Victor Anichebe will be missing after picking up a slight thigh strain.
Teenage striker Joel Asoro is also out, with an injury picked up on international duty with Sweden Under-21s.
Moyes added: “We are still missing Fabio Borini, we are short of options off the bench.
“Victor Anichebe, hopefully will be ready shortly but he has a bit of a thigh strain.
“It is not stopping him running or cycling but stopping him striking the ball at this moment.”
Meanwhile, right-back Billy Jones is also back in training after missing the start of the season with a hip injury.