The 22-year-old made an instant impact on his debut by setting up a goal for Steven Fletcher in the Black Cats’ 3-2 win at Wigan, before struggling in his next two outings against Swansea and Reading.
Martin O'Neill: “I think what happens nowadays, more so than ever before, is that you go into a football club and – let’s say you’re a goalscorer – if you haven’t scored in three games, I think you’re considered rubbish.
“If you’re a defender and you’ve let in a few goals, it’s the same.
“There’s a rush now to judge players whereas in actual fact, you just need them to settle down and let them find their feet.
“Alfred has played a few games for us now and he’s absolutely fine.
“It’ll take him some time here, but we’ll see the best of him over time. He’ll be very strong for us.
“He’s just getting used to things.
“He’s strong and really keen to learn, which is great.
“Of course, he’s got loads to do, but he wants to do it and I have plenty of confidence in him.
“He’s got himself into some brilliant positions on the field where we’ve actually been lacking before – getting players in advanced positions with a reasonably clear shot on goal.
“He’s scuffed a few, but that’s not a problem.
“If he’d scored those goals, his value might have been through the roof!
“He’s still learning the game.”