Jack Ross says Bryan Oviedo’s levels have not dipped after he was axed from the side last week.
Oviedo is arguably the squad’s most prominent player, still a regular in the Costa Rica set-up.
But after an underwhelming display at Burton Albion he lost his place to 22-year-old Denver Hume, and the youngster’s accomplished display against Rochdale could see him keep his place at the Ricoh Arena.
Oviedo’s levels have remained constant this week and the Sunderland boss says that is a postitive.
His appearance from the bench against Rochdale also drew plaudits from the boss, who hailed the attitude of all three substitutes.
“You saw that [competition] against Rochdale, I know the game was already won but even at Burton, those who came off the bench made positive contributions.
“Saturday was very different, but Jerome, Aiden and Bryan were all it.
“It’s not always easy coming on as a sub in any game, I always found it really tough as a player. I really wasn’t great at it.
“But that hunger was evident in all three.
“I haven’t noticed a difference in Bryan this week but that’s because his attitude has been good all along.
“He’s trained really well, so he hasn’t dipped in any way.
“He was disappointed last week but he understood.
“His mood and how bubbly he has been around the place has been good. There’s been no change, which is good because there’s no sign of him taking the huff.
“If there had been a change the other way [an improvement] you could ask why he hadn’t been at those levels before. So that’s good.
“His quality is brilliant, so I love coaching him because of that.
“His approach all round has been really good so that is pleasing.”
Ross admitted last weekend that Hume would be tough to drop.
“Denver was very unfortunate not to play last week [at Burton] and keep his place in the team.
“Every time Denver has played this season, he’s been good. I don’t think anybody can argue with that. “It’s just up to him to keep taking the opportunities, and I thought he did that against Rochdale.”