Sunderland U21 coach Kevin Ball is delighted with the progress made by Mikael Mandron.

Though Ball is delighted with the progress the young Frenchman is making, he feels it's essential he's well managed ahead of a big stage in his career.

"As the game wore on I thought Mika looked tired and I thought it was the right thing to bring him off," he explained to after the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

"It's fabulous the experience he's had recently training with the first team, being on the bench and travelling with the squad.

"That's always going to catch up with him, though, and the one thing I didn't want to happen was for him to get an injury for 'x' amount of weeks and that's something I was very mindful of, so the decision was made to take him off.

"We have high hopes for Mika but we have to relax a little bit about him and not expect too much too soon.

"The one thing you have with Mika Mandron is an unbelievable attitude with a desire to work and improve; it's fantastic, top drawer."