Jack Ross was pleased Charlie Wyke got the reception he did from the Sunderland fans after a powerhouse display.
Wyke was serenaded during the second half and applauded off at the Wham Stadium when he was subbed late on after an impressive performance, doing everything but score.
The summer signing started alongside Will Grigg in a 4-4-2 as Ross made five changes and tweaked his system, both decisions paying off handsomely with Sunderland running out 3-0 winners.
Ross said: “Charlie deserved a goal, he was terrific. I was delighted the fans gave him such good backing, his performance level was terrific.
“He was frustrated he hasn’t scored but his overall contribution in winning the game was terrific and he will take great confidence from the reception he got and when he came off the park.”
Three of the changes were forced upon Ross, with Lee Cattermole (ankle) and Reece James (groin) injured and George Honeyman serving the final game of a three-game ban.
Dylan McGeouch and Denver Hume started and both caught the eye.
Ross added: “I was delighted for Dylan, he has conducted himself ultra properly through this period, he has trained and played in a couple of bounce games and he has trained and played the way he was pre-season.
“It has been a bit stop start for him, but if he can be in that form between now and the end of the season that is a big boost for me.
“Denver is still a young man, but what he gives us is that energy from there. His willingness to get forward and his decision making is very good. I don’t have any fears about playing him.”