David Moyes was in no mood to elaborate on the absence of Patrick van Aanholt from his Sunderland side at Tottenham.
The Dutchman was named on the team sheet for the 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane only to be withdrawn "for medical reasons" just ahead of the 4.30 pm kick-off.
Right-back Javier Manquillo was hastily switched from right-back to the vacant left-side slot with fellow season-long loanee Jason Denayer coming in at right-back for his first start.
Sky Sports suggested that the 26-year-old only discovered he was out of the side when told by Denayer in the pre-match warm-up.
Afterwards, in a post-match interview with Sky, Moyes said the decision was taken for "medical reasons" but refused to say what the issue was.
van Aanholt walked through the media mixed zone after the game without making any comment.
In his post-match media conference, Moyes, again, maintained the proverbial straight bat on the subject.
"I've given a stock answer, it was for medical reasons that we chose to withdraw him from the game," said the manager.
"I don't want to follow up on that.
"You know me, I always like to be straight but I'm giving you just what I think the best answer is for now.
"We advised the referee very late on."
The former Chelsea star's no-show prompted an 11th-hour re-jig of a back four Moyes wanted to retain after the late collapse to Everton last Monday night.
"Jason Denayer got some game time which was good, that was a positive," he said.
"I thought Javier Manquillo went to left-back and did OK, he played a lot for Marseille there last year.
"From that point of view we did what we thought was the best thing to do and set up as best as we could."
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino referred to it as a "strange situation", the decision happening at "the last moment" but said he had no complaints with the change in Sunderland's starting XI.
"He must have had a problem, I didn't see what was wrong with him," he said.
Sunnderland were sunk by Harry Kane's 59th-minute winner after Papy Djilobodji fluffed an attempted clearance.