He said: “It’s crucial. I know that if Jihai is on the bench he can play anywhere in the back four or in the midfield four, which is fantastic. He would have been the ideal sub 30 years ago when you only had one sub on the bench.
“He’s played wing-back for his country, on the right of midfield, right back and even up front for China! He gives us good options, and he’s one of those people that if you are looking for someone to come onto the bench he is arguably your first pick.
“Jihai’s missed so much of the season, it’s incredible. We’re pleased to have him back, the squad’s never big enough to sustain any players being out.”