Joey Barton was delighted to see Fleetwood Town’s star man Wes Burns make an impression on Sunderland’s Bryan Oviedo this week.
The 24-year-old’s form this season earned him the player of the year prize at the recent fans’ awards.
Tuesday’s win against the Black Cats saw Burns’ pressing play a key role in Ashley Nadesan’s late winner.
Barton said: “I said to them in there ‘You have shown on Tuesday night that you are capable.’
“Wes Burns, up against Bryan Oviedo; Bryan played in a World Cup (for Costa Rica) and Wes taught him many things in that second half.
“I thought he was outstanding; charging down and gives him 20-30 yards to then win a throw-in that Ross (Wallace) pulls the magic off to get a corner and win us the game.
“He could have left that, he could have stayed in his slot and kept a 1-1 scoreline but he wants to be a player and it is a delight to see as a coach.
“When players run that hard you win football matches. In the second half we had a real desire to win a football match in front of our fans.”