The Wearside-based club have had a solid start to the season, winning seven of their eight matches across all competitions so far and sitting atop the League One table.


Academy graduates Neil and Embleton have been key players for Sunderland this season and former Black Cats star Elliott is delighted with their impact on the team.



Elliott has insisted that Neil and Embleton’s influence can make Sunderland boss Johnson aware of what homegrown players can bring to the team’s table.


The Irishman is of the view Sunderland made the mistake of signing players that are not as good as the homegrown talent in recent years, but feels the likes of Neil have benefitted from a change of attitude.



I feel he [Neil] is a player who has hugely benefited from the new mantra of the club“, Elliott wrote in his Sunderland Echo column.


If he had have been breaking through a few years back at the Stadium of Light, then I’m not sure whether he would have been given the opportunity he has received this year.



The club have made errors in my opinion in recent years by bringing players in that are not as good as some of the home talent available.


Both Neil and Elliot Embleton have shown this season that the club are still developing real quality.


The effect both have had this season will no doubt make Lee Johnson aware of the beauty of what homegrown players bring to the first team and we may see some more over the course of the season.


The crowd loves watching local kids breakthrough also.


It is a good time to be a Sunderland fan. Long may it continue.


Having made a bright start to the season, both Neil and Embleton will be looking to help Sunderland earn promotion to the Championship this term.