Jordan Henderson has backed team-mate Jack Colback to follow in his footsteps as he attempts to establish himself at Sunderland.
Colback has started the last three games in the midst of a desperate injury crisis, and with fitness concerns continuing ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Bolton, the 21-year-old midfielder is likely to retain his place.
Steve Bruce's side head for the Reebok Stadium in some disarray after seeing their hopes of a strong finish to the campaign severely dented by last weekend's 3-0 home defeat to Fulham.
However, Colback's emergence as a genuine first-team player represents one of the few positives to take from a difficult second half of the season. England international Henderson knows the Tyneside-born youngster well from their time together in the academy and is convinced he can also go on to make his name at the Stadium of Light.
The 20-year-old said: "Jack knows what he is doing. He played quite a few league games in the Championship and he has made the step up to the Premier League. In the last couple of weeks he has got his chance to start and he has been brilliant.
"He has dealt with it really well and has looked solid in the middle of the park, so I am over the moon for him."