Nigel Pearson and Shakespeare had been fielding a relatively consistent team in the Premier League until Gerard Deulofeu picked up a season-ending injury against Liverpool.
They’re not shy of options to replace the Spaniard though, with Roberto Pereyra, Danny Welbeck and even João Pedro vying to take that left-wing spot.
“Of course, when we lost Gerard we’ve had to come up with a different dimension,” said Shakespeare.
“We were pleased with Maxi [Pereyra] and the way he’s come back, his sharpness and the work rate he gives us. What we have to do is be flexible. We’ll always probably be a 4-3-3 where maybe Maxi can fill different roles as well, as other players will.
“He [João Pedro] has looked very sharp in training, I have to say. He could have an impact but thankfully what we’ve done is got him fitter, sharper, and he’s looking more of the part now. I wouldn’t write him out now, because they all have to be ready.
“Danny’s been in fine form and fitness levels have been excellent. Danny is one who benefitted probably from the break. He’s got all the attributes you need to be a top-class striker, great attitude, great personality, great work ethic, he just needs a run of games now.”