Adam Johnson has a "99 per cent chance" of being recalled to the Sunderland starting line-up against Tottenham tonight.
The winger has been controversially left out of the side in the last two games, coming off the bench in both to first create a goal at Liverpool and then score himself in the defeat to West Ham. That impact from the bench prompted Gus Poyet to claim his decision had been justified, but it sparked waves of criticism from fans.
Poyet told reporters:
I'm a very good professional and when anybody criticises me professionally I take it. It's part of my job and I don't get upset with anyone. I'm not going to say I like it, I'm not that stupid. I don't like it but I accept it, because you cannot make everyone happy and think the way you think.
It happens as a football player you cannot be a good player for 40,000 people week in week out. There is always three, four or 20 thousand that don't like it. That's part of the profession. If it's not personal. When it is personal I am terrible and I think you know what I mean.
I talked to Adam after Liverpool. I hope he can have the same impact starting the next game. I would love that. That would make us stay up for sure. It's pressure on Adam, he is one player who can handle pressure because of where he's coming from, what he has done, the internationals he has played. He is one of the main players at the club. He has got a 99% per cent chance of starting on Monday.
I must admit that I am firmly in the camp that says if Johnson is available, you have to play him. This Sunderland side is short on goals and hardly awash with creative players who can produce something out of nothing.
I don't think it even matters what tactics you choose. You take Johnson, Fabio Borini and Ki Sung-Yeung, write them down on a sheet of paper, and then construct a team around them - every... single... week. We just don't have the luxury of leaving them out.
Get him back in the side and, if we go down, at least we go down swinging. Feel free to cast your vote in the poll below and have your say in the comments section.