Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has defended his decision to leave Ricky Alvarez on the substitutes' bench against Hull City on Tuesday night in the Shields Gazette.
Poyet controversially opted to leave Alvarez out of his starting line-up, even with Adam Johnson absent, much to the frustration of Sunderland fans.
The Uruguayan manager said that he left Alvarez on the bench because he wanted to utilise him as an impact-sub and he feels his decision was the right one, even now.
“I made a decision and I stand by it," he said. "Ricky only trained on Monday, I wanted him fresh to make a difference (from the bench) and not in the fighting for 60 minutes. That worked, so I need to be pleased."
Most Sunderland supporters had expected Alvarez to start as he is their most natural replacement for Johnson.
The Argentine winger possesses wonderful natural ability and is one of their only sources of creativity in the squad.
While the Black Cats have a number of workmanlike players, they do not have too many match winners at their disposal and Alvarez can certainly perform that function.
His time on Wearside has been disappointing thus far, but his performance against Hull proved that he can still have a role to play.
Alvarez tormented the Tigers' defence during his cameo display and Poyet will say that shows he brought him on at the perfect time, as he played against tiring legs.
His critics, however, would argue that if Alvarez had been on from the start his attacking quality may have helped them claim three points, rather than just the one they were made to settle for.