Chris Coleman says his selection for the 0-0 draw with Wolves was ‘horses for courses’, meaning Aiden McGeady could make a quick return to the starting XI next weekend.
Callum McManaman’s suspension and an injury to Bryan Oviedo forced Coleman to make changes for the trip to Molineux, but he went further by dropping McGeady to the bench after a poor run of form.
The Sunderland boss was rewarded with energetic displays from youngsters George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch, but played down suggestions that the new system was a sign of things to come.
He said: “I’ll change the system and I’ll change personnel. It’s about everybody and everybody has to understand that.
“Maybe next Saturday the team and the shape will be different to this Saturday.
“I’m going to have to take a look at that but nothing against Aiden at all. He is a very creative player.
“We have struggled offensively and defensively but we’ve got to start somewhere and went with a shape and personnel today I felt was best to face the opposition.
“It may be different next week. It’s horses for courses.”
Coleman also had high praise for John O’Shea after Sunderland kept a clean sheet against the best attacking side in the league this season.
Marc Wilson returned to the side to join O’Shea and Tyias Browning in a back three and Coleman hailed his captain’s leadership and professionalism.
He said: “He has had over 100 caps for his country, he has played at the top level all of his career.
“Everyone else sees the finished article on the pitch.
“But I see him during the week, in training, and in the dressing room, with the younger players.
“He is very calm, he is an intelligent boy and we will need that calmness and that professionalism.
“No-one is better at that than John O’Shea, I promise you.
“He has been fabulous from the first day I walked into the club.”
Coleman says Sunderland’s fate remains very much in their own hands despite their lowly position in the table, and is determiend to end the home duck in the coming games.
He said: “I think we were always confident because, without getting away from the situation we are in, there are a lot of games to play and points to play for.
“Confident that we can get out of trouble but it’s going to be a long, hard season. We know that.
“We’ve got to have more performances like that and, wen you do that, you get better results, and that’s why there is a better all-round feeling at the club.
B”ut it is literally game by game. We can enjoy today but there are a lot of games to play and the good thing is, like all the teams that are down there at the minute, it is in our own hands.
“There are enough games and points, enough time, to get away from where we are,” he added.
“We need to win 1-0 at home. If it is swashbuckling football and we win 3-0 or 4-0, then fantastic.
“But if we win 1-0 and it’s a controversial goal, I couldn’t care less.
“There is only us that is going to put a smile on everyone’s face and that means we have to win at home.
“Next week will be just as hard as this week but it will be the psycological factor and it is only us who can get over that.”