Claude Puel says Charlie Austin deserved his opportunity to start from the off against Sunderland.
The striker came in for his first start of the season against the Black Cats at St Mary’s, as Puel looked to his number ten for the goals to seal a first win of the season.
Austin looked lively, but was left frustrated after three tight offside calls went against him before he made way for Jay Rodriguez with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Explaining the decision to start Austin, Puel said: “At the beginning of the season in the friendly games and also the training sessions, Charlie did well and it was very interesting.
“I think his profile always is to be in the area. We know against Sunderland we had to play against a team behind on the counter attack and without space it is difficult for Shane Long.
“With Charlie it was interesting to start this game.
“We can see many solutions with the substitutes also making a good entrance.
“It’s important to respect all of the players because it’s a team and not just 11 players.
“We will play every three days after the international break and it’s important to have everybody together.”