Sunderland boss Jack Ross explains decision to sub Denver Hume at half-time and why key players were missing at Bolton
Denver Hume was hauled off at half-time for the second time this season but Jack Ross insists it was a ‘sensible’ decision with the full-back on a booking and tricky Bolton winger Thibaud Verlinden targeting him.
Hume wasn’t the only Sunderland player to struggle in a poor first half showing against basement side Bolton Wanderers, who took the lead five minutes into the second half through Jack Hobbs.
An Aiden McGeady penalty rescued a late point.
On the decision to replace Hume, Ross said: “It's not an easy decision for a manager particularly when he's a young player and he's already had that this season.
“The perspective can be that you're hanging someone out to dry but far from it, it's done on a more sensible manner that's he's been booked and he's playing against a wide player who's getting at him at every opportunity.
“It then affects your decision-making in terms of making tackles and that was probably evident so we had to make a sensible decision in that way.
“Conor earlier in the season struggled on his wrong side and I thought he looked far more comfortable on his right side and Luke (O'Nien) is a fairly two-footed player.
“It's not an ideal scenario to be forced into but I think it was the right decision at the right time.”
Ross made four changes, Marc McNulty missing out with a hamstring problem, while Alim Ozturk, who felt his hamstring against Rotherham, was benched along with Conor McLaughlin and Dylan McGeouch.
Ross added: “We had to make some changes and Marc was completely ruled out with a hamstring injury, which is why he came off in midweek as well.
“There are reasons why we do things, just because we don't publicise them beforehand.”
McGeady missed a penalty in the draw with Rotherham but stepped up to snatch a point for Sunderland at the death.
“We'd spoken during the week about who would have responsibility – I'd spoken to Lynden, Aiden.
“He wanted to take the next one.
“If he'd missed the next one that becomes a different conversation but I think he deserved to take the next one because of his record in general, his character and temperament.
“His strength of character to do that in injury time given that he'd missed one in the week was good but he has that in abundance, it's why he's played at that level.”