Jack Rodwell has admitted to the Sunderland Echo that he was shocked Sam Allardyce brought him on during Sunderland’s match against Arsenal last weekened.
Rodwell has not made many appearances for the Black Cats this season, with injury problems causing a great deal of frustration.
However, the central midfielder was thrown in at the deep at the Emirates Stadium, after injuries to Sebastian Larsson and Lee Cattermole.
And the England international said. “I was in the gym, but then Catts got injured and I was included in the squad.
“I’ve featured in a few games, but it was great to come on against Arsenal. I wasn’t expecting it.
“You never want to see your team-mates get injured, but there’s obviously opportunities now to get into the team.”
Sunderland lost their match against Arsenal 3-1, but they put in an encouraging showing in the contest.
Rodwell was signed by Sunderland in 2014, but he has never been able to show his top form during his time at the Stadium of Light so far.
The powerful midfielder showed so much promise during his younger years at Everton, but his career has stalled ever since he moved to Manchester City.
There was hope that a switch to Wearside could reignite his career, but the move has not worked out as intended so far.
If Rodwell can get back to his very best, he could become a very important player for Allardyce’s side though – and he will hope that his fitness problems are behind him now.