Sunderland boss Steve Bruce hails teen defender Louis Laing

Sunderland's Louis Laing.
Sunderland's Louis Laing.

LOUIS Laing is not necessarily on course for a loan spell in the Football League after the teenage defender made his first Sunderland start.

The 18-year-old has been one of the success stories of Sunderland’s pre-season – featuring in all three of the club’s friendlies and playing the full 90 minutes in last night’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hannover 96.

Laing, pictured, who made his first-team debut as a late substitute against Wolves last season, may have a part to play for Sunderland this year.

Bruce said: “Something like last night, Louis Laing will remember all his life. He’s one who we’re really pleased with.

“We haven’t got as far as making a decision over whether he goes out on loan or not.

“I just want him to come and play with us and work with us and I’m sure that will help him along.

“He’s only been with us two weeks since playing in the youth team.

“It’s a big step up for the boy but he’s acquitted himself fantastically well. He’s definitely got a future.”

On last night’s game, Bruce added: “We didn’t really have any chances in the first half – there was no real cutting edge.

“In the second half, we played a bit more like we should do – got the ball forward quicker, ran forward quicker.

“We had two or three good chances. If Seb’s (Larsson) had gone in, it might have been his first for the club and Steed (Malbranque) had a good chance with a header. But it wasn’t to be.”