Chris Powell hailed the debut display of David Edgar as Lee Peltier finally completed his transfer to Town’s Championship rivals Cardiff City.
While Peltier has penned a Cardiff contract through to the summer of 2018, Edgar has joined Town on loan from Birmingham City until the end of the season.
Peltier was a spectator as his new club suffered a 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at home to Reading.
There was also an unexpected appearance for James Vaughan despite his fractured eye socket and cheekbone.
The 26-year-old striker played wearing a protective mask after being given the go-ahead by a specialist.
Boss Powell said of former Newcastle United and Burnley man Edgar, who can also play in defence: “We knew David would sit deep and that would allow Conor and Jacob Butterfield to push forward.
“David only joined us on Thursday, but I thought he did really well.
“When I spoke to him we discussed the positions he can play and we felt defensive midfield, especially away from home, was the most important.
“He gives us a platform and does a job for the team. I think that was music to his ears, because that is his preference.
“He made two immense blocks. One in particular, against Marc-Antoine Fortune when he looked to turn and go one-on-one with Alex Smithies, was excellent.
“He was cramping up after an hour, but I told him to carry on. To be fair, he did!
“He put in a great debut for us and the lads gave him a round of applause after the game.”