Eric Lichaj is a man who many of us love for what he`s brought to the club during his time here but Aitor Karanka cannot let any kind of sentiment get in the way at the moment.
The Spanish manager doesn`t strike me as the kind of person that would let that bother him anyway.
He worked under Jose Mourinho, of course, and the Portuguese has never struck me as someone who`ll compromise the chances of getting a result.
With our latest fixture, then, it should be exactly the case where Lichaj remains on the bench and has to work his way back into the side.
He, of course, will be all too aware that he needs to fight to return to the XI and with the likes of Tendayi playing very well, the American is going to have to knuckle down.
He`s responded before, of course, when he`s looked up against it at the City Ground and I`d be more than happy to see him back in the team in due course, I just think we`re starting to gel right now.
Performances have picked up and, with another win over Norwich, that process will only gather momentum.
Lichaj perhaps got his red card at the worst possible time, then, but whilst I have sympathy for him I`m in no doubt Karanka will not on a professional level.
The Spaniard has already instilled an added level of grit and steel to our side and so the full-back is going to have to do things the hard way.
It`s a good thing overall, though. You can sense the competition for places growing and there`s surely going to be some intense training sessions between now and the end of the campaign.
Should Lichaj stay on the bench? Let me know in the poll!