DUNCAN WATMORE admits he is not yet ready for a regular first-team role at Sunderland.
Watmore was part of the Black Cats squad for the opening two rounds of the FA Cup after making his debut in the third round success over Carlisle and then being left on the bench for the fourth round victory against Kidderminster.
But the 19-year-old will be plying his trade north of the border during this weekend’s fifth round encounters after joining SPL outfit Hibernian on loan until the end of the season on transfer deadline day.
After only arriving at Sunderland from non-league Altrincham during the summer, Watmore realises he needs to continue his development before attempting to make an impact in the Premier League.
“I don’t think I’m ready for the Sunderland first team,” he said.
“For my development the next stage was definitely to come and get first-team experience
“Hibs is a really good club to get experience at and I’m very grateful for the chance.
“Everything I learn here will make me a better player.
“Gaining first-team experience is the main thing for me now.
“Here it’s about the results and that’s a good thing to experience because you’re constantly pushing the boundaries to get points.”
Watmore was one of the few bright spots for Hibs boss and ex-Sunderland manager Terry Butcher last weekend after the forward made his debut in the cup defeat to second tier Raith Rovers.
And he admits the physicality of the encounter was a culture shock after being predominantly limited to games with Sunderland Under-21s this season.
“I was aching all over on Saturday night, with ice packs everywhere,” added Watmore.
“I took a sore one on my foot in particular. I was kicked about a bit but I’ll getting used to it.
“I was at Altrincham before and, believe me, I got kicked a lot more when I was there.
“It’s a good thing to experience the physicality up here and the fact that people are always willing to put a tackle in.
“It’s something I enjoy. I actually don’t mind getting kicked about the park as a winger.
“It’s part and parcel of how you play, especially a winger who tries to beat people.
“If you’re doing that successfully it’s almost a satisfaction if you get kicked about. It’s a compliment.
“I know I’m doing my job for the team if players bring me down and get booked for it.”