Sam Allardyce has explained why Sunderland new signing Dame N’Doye was limited to an unused substitute’s role against Bournemouth.
On-loan Trabzonspor striker N’Doye was included in the Sunderland squad for the first time on Saturday, yet the Senegal international did not emerge from the bench, despite the Black Cats’ desperate need for victory.
With Bournemouth dominating in the middle of the park, Allardyce felt his side would have been too vulnerable if he had brought on an extra striker and opted to keep N’Doye in reserve.
Allardyce said: “We would have had to bring him on for Jermain (Defoe) because I couldn’t risk the two up front.
“The midfield battle was three v three and it had to stay like that.
“If I had diluted us in that area, we might have given Bournemouth a bigger opportunity to win than us.
“I left it as it was. But he’ll (N’Doye) play sooner rather than later, I think.”
N’Doye is one of several players lacking match fitness who are expected to feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly this week, with Sunderland not in action again until the visit of Manchester City in eight days time.
Allardyce will also use the brief break from Premier League action to give some of his first-team regulars a much-needed rest.
“Some of those who’ve played an awful lot over Christmas will have a couple of days off and then they’ll be in through the week,” he added.
“Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be getting ready for Manchester City.
“The rest who haven’t played as much will have a behind-closed-doors game in the middle of the week to give them some match practice and get some match fitness into them.
“This period of time will be used very effectively for the players that are here.”