Sources have told Roker Report that the reason Bryan Oviedo wasn’t part of Sunderland’s squad for Saturday’s game against Brentford was because he refused to take his place on the bench.
Having been told he was dropped from the starting eleven, the former Everton left-back reacted badly to the news and refused to make up part of the seven substitutes for the game.
The reason given by Sunderland manager Chris Coleman was that Oviedo had been dropped for ‘tactical reasons’, stating that he felt it was more beneficial that we instead went with Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter in that position;
After that first 45 against Bristol City I could have left anybody out and nobody could complain. We went with Jake who is a bit more defensively minded than Bryan, particularly because we had Aiden in front who is very offensively minded.
It was a decision I made and you have to do that, come up with a game-plan. Sometimes it doesn’t pay off and it didn’t on Saturday.
Whatever the disagreement was, it must have been smoothed over as Oviedo was restored back to the starting eleven for last night’s game down at Bolton, in which Coleman opted to return to his five-at-the-back system which he has largely preferred since arriving in November.
The Costa Rican completed a full ninety minutes at the Macron Stadium but didn’t enjoy a particularly fruitful evening, with Rory Fallow noting in his post-match player ratings here on RokerReport.com that Oviedo “struggled to get involved in an attacking sense and didn’t provide the threat we can usually depend on him for”.
Oviedo will be keen to keep his head down and play regularly between now and the end of the season with the World Cup finals nearing. The Central American nation have been drawn into a group with Serbia, Switzerland and Brazil and Oviedo faces serious competition for his place in the side from New York City’s Rónald Matarrita, who is often preferred at left wing-back in the big games.