Sunderland manager Roy Keane praised Michael Chopra after he made a scoring return against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The former Newcastle United striker has recently returned to football after a spell at a sports clinic to help him through some personal problems.
He came off the bench in the North East derby versus Boro at the Stadium of Light to strike a late brace after Stewart Downing had missed a penalty.
Keane conceded his side were slightly fortunate to claim the three points, but was delighted with Chopra's comeback.
He said on the club's official website: "We rode our luck a bit today and it was probably written for Chopra.
"It's good to have Michael back, he's had a difficult time and the suspension did not help but he looked back to his old self today.
"He's been a big player for me, people forget that. He scored some important goals last year and he took his opportunity today.
"I take my hat off to Boro, they are a good team. I like the way they play, the way they attack, they have a go.
"I've been lucky in my three games against Middlesbrough, today and twice last season.
"Craig Gordon made some good saves, as did their keeper, and obviously they missed a penalty, that was a big turning point. Even the top players can miss penalties."