Sunderland boss explains his big Nazariy Rusyn decision - and clear message on what's next
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Tony Mowbray says Nazariy Rusyn will get another opportunity to impress after making his full Sunderland debut against Norwich City.
Mowbray sprung a surprise on Saturday afternoon by naming Rusyn in the starting XI ahead of Mason Burstow, with the head coach reasoning that it was time to give Burstow a breather after a frustrating start to his loan on Wearside.
The head coach also said that he was felt it was time to give Rusyn a start in his primary position, after the club's significant investment in the 24-year-old this summer.
Mowbray and his staff have been calling on the help of U21 player Timur Tuterov to help get the tactical messages across to the striker, who has faced challenges with the language barrier.
"We decided very early that it was time, really, to take the young kid out and give him a breather," Mowbray said.
"The burden of having to score goals as a young boy coming on loan and not playing at this level before, you can keep giving opportunities and yet ultimately the team has to win and score.
"Rusyn has been brought in, we've paid money for him, he's not an 18-year-old kid, he's a 25-year-old man and we felt he was about ready. He'd had all that training and played some U21 games. He's here, let's put him on. He was brought here as a striker, not a left winger or a right winger. He was brought here to play down the middle.
"We had Timur [Tuterov] in all of our meetings this week, who is a translator for him, he's a young Ukrainian player. We even did a presentation in Ukrainian for him so he could understand. I'm pleased for him. He worked hard, he grew into the game, he'll be given another opportunity and has to keep trying to grab them. Ideally he scores a goal.
"It is the same for Hemir really. It would have been great if he'd scored one of the chances pretty late on. It would be nice to have the dilemma of a couple of strikers scoring, but that will come. There are lots of games and they're all working hard."