David Pleat has explained why Mark Yeates was kept in his 'back pocket' until the season's finale at Wolves on Saturday.
The Irish midfielder impressed at Molineux and capped a typically bright performance by setting up Robbie Keane's opener.
Jermain Defoe ensured a happy ending to the campaign with the second in the second half as we ran out 2-0 winners.
"Mark was splendid, a little Irish imp and he'll be fine," said David afterwards. "He's a good player and will keep his feet on the ground.
"He has lovely touch and control and I now know he won't be fazed.
"Some people might ask why we didn't put him in earlier but we had to keep him in the back pocket all season because you are always under pressure to win games.
"You have to play the players at the right time.
"The wonderful thing for me is that they have got a chance. I'm sure the fans will have enjoyed watching him play at Wolves and I hope he'll go on and play more games for the club."