Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce admitted it had been a tough decision to drop goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson for the 3-1 FA Cup fifth round victory at Preston North End.
The Swede was dropped to the bench at Deepdale in favour of the fit-again Nicky Weaver, with Pearce pleased with the reaction he got from Isaksson.
He said: "Choosing the goalkeeper was the hardest decision I have ever had to make as a manager.
"Normally I know my team on Wednesday or Thursday but I didn't this time. I left it until after training on Friday.
"I called them both over for a chat. Credit to Andreas, he took the decision like a proper professional.
"I just felt Nicky had that many games behind him it would be difficult to leave him out. He kept us in it at 1-0 with a good save and I was pleased for him."
Of his side's overall display against the Lilywhites, Pearce added: "I thought we started extremely brightly and their goal came against the run of play.
"It was always going to be tough but over 90 minutes we deserved to win the tie. My team showed character after going a goal down away from home."