Jack Rodwell didn’t deserve to be left out of the Sunderland starting XI against West Brom, admits Sam Allardyce.
Rodwell had produced far more encouraging performances in the three games prior to Saturday’s visit of the Baggies, with the £10million midfielder admitting he felt his confidence was returning.
But Rodwell was restricted to an unused substitute’s role on Saturday after Lee Cattermole earned a recall at the expense of the ex-Manchester City man.
Cattermole is understood to have impressed Allardyce on the training ground during the fortnight’s gap with Sunderland’s previous game against Newcastle, and the Teessider justified his selection with an all-action display in the middle of the park.
But Allardyce admitted that the selection decision was harsh on Rodwell, even if Cattermole was one of Sunderland’s stand-out performers in the 0-0 draw.
“He (Rodwell) had his best run of performances since he joined the club but, for me, Catts just provided that energy that drives on the rest of the team,” said Allardyce.
“It was the first time I’ve taken a player out of the side who didn’t deserved to be out.
“Jack’s performances and his stats haven’t dropped but I just thought Catts was the man on Saturday. On his performance, everybody would agree it was the right team and the right tactics.”