Newcastle United boss Glenn Roeder praised the contribution of Kieron Dyer as the injury-plagued midfielder returned to action in the Carling Cup victory over Portsmouth.
The Magpies put their league woes to one side as they coasted past Pompey 3-0 in wet conditions at St James' Park.
Roeder was tempted to throw the England international back into first-team action after he impressed on his return to the reserves following a six-month lay-off.
"I took that decision when I watched him play (for the reserves)," admitted Roeder. "I pulled him off after 60 minutes.
"The intention was he was going to play a full 90 minutes, but he was so outstanding in that game at the training ground, it occurred to me I ought to be putting him on the bench for the (Portsmouth) game.
"I didn't particularly have intentions of putting him on, but when he was called into action, we saw there how very quick he is, how rapid he is when he carries the ball and he was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions.
"He's a very happy player tonight. I'm so pleased to see Kieron Dyer with a smile on his face again."