Manchester City Stuart Pearce manager believes Robbie Fowler gave the perfect response to being left out of the team in the derby.
Fowler, who scored a hat-trick against Scunthorpe in the FA Cup the previous week, came off the bench to find the target in the defeat of Manchester United.
Pearce told BBC GMR: 'If a forward scores three goals, he's got the right to look me in they eye and say ' what are you doing leaving me out again?'
'I have to make those calls. I felt I had to show some loyalty to Darius Vassell and Andy Cole.
'When I spoke to Robbie on Friday morning and told him I was going with the other two, he didn't say a word. He just walked out and he has answered me once again with that goal.'
Defender Richard Dunne is scheduled to have a scan on his knee after limping off at Eastlands.