21 Dec 2006
- Written by Sunderland Echo
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The 20-year-old has proved a key man for the Wearsiders' this season, and the faith has paid off with three crucial goals already this season, impressing Yorke with his attitude and talent.
Yorke said: "I must say I didn't have a clue about him but I've been impressed.
"He's a little bit young in some of the things he does, but he's got time to learn. He's got the right environment and the right management staff to try and improve him.
"You can see his game is blossoming and he's taking his opportunity whenever he's been given it.
"He's got a fearsome shot on him and an eye for goal. That's why the gaffer's pushed him forward with the likes of me and Kav (Graham Kavanagh) trying to hang back."
Ironically, the emergence of Leadbitter reduces opportunities for Yorke, but the veteran star added: "The better he does and the better the team does, it's better for everybody.
"It means the gaffer's got good options and that's the important thing.
"It's my responsibility as a senior pro to make sure I try to guide him in the right direction.
"It's also important not to take away what he's good at. He needs to go out and be natural. Along the way, he will mistakes and we've got to try and make allowances.
"Even me at my age will make mistakes so it's good to have people around him with experience."
Yorke is experiencing his first ever season at Championship level, and admitted: "In some ways, the Championship is a little bit faster than the Premiership where they keep the ball a lot better but it's not much different
"What I heard about this league was that it was difficult and it's proved to be so. There's no disappointment about that. You've just got to dig deep."