Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has defended his centre-back Sebastian Coates after a torrid game against Manchester City as the Black Cats lost 4-1 to the champions at the Stadium of Light, and Gus Poyet seemed to acknowledge it wasn't the ideal time to start him.
Coates, who is currently on loan from Liverpool, had to face an in-form Sergio Aguero who led City to a rare win at the Stadium of Light.
Poyet said after the game: “I’m sure that Sebber is not going to be happy with me.
“He was coming back from injury. Wes didn’t train for two days.
“We need him (Wes) for Saturday because Sebber is not available and I made the decision not to take a risk and make sure there was a centre-half on Saturday.”
There was some sense to Coates playing against Chelsea in order to keep one of his main defenders fit for the trip to Liverpool on Saturday, which Coates isn't available for - whilst keeping their most experienced and first choice centre-back in Wes Brown fresh for the visit to Anfield.
Coates playing is welcome at least given that he has had a long-term knee injury, and needs as much game time as he can get. No doubt there will be more of him seen over the festive period with fixtures getting a little more congested.
Even when he was at Liverpool, there was some evident ability about Coates but not being able to string a number of games together meant the same mistakes were appearing in his performances and he wasn't able to brush up on his technique.
Injury has held him back this season so far, but by the looks of things he will have the opportunity to force his way into the side - but has two experienced players in Brown and John O'Shea to compete with.