Ricky Sbragia hopes the returning Carlos Edwards can help Sunderland unlock Premier League defences.
The Trinidad & Tobago international has found himself on the fringes of the Black Cats' first-team for much of the current campaign, with injuries and loss of form hindering his progress.
He was, however, returned to the fold for last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.
That result saw Sunderland slip to within three points of the relegation zone, but Edwards' showing offered a glimmer of hope.
The tricky winger provided Sbragia with a potent attacking weapon and the Black Cats boss is hoping he can carry that form through until the end of the season.
"Carlos is the one player we have got who can get behind teams, and that's a valuable quality to have," Sbragia told the Sunderland Echo.
"We have got Andy Reid who can put a great ball in from the wing, Steed Malbranque who can thread a lovely pass or show great vision, but Carlos is the one who has the pace to get in behind teams to put a cross over, and that's something we have lacked generally."