Was the sacrifice really necessary on Wednesday night?
The second-half substitutions killed the game for Northern Ireland against Romania in their final Nations League match.
There was stability and a strong structure to the team.
That dissipated when manager Ian Baraclough opted for a couple of double replacements.
It completely changed the dynamic of the game.
The departure of Matty Kennedy and Liam Boyce took away a forward threat, which had the Romanians on the back foot, while Michael Smith's absence - taken off along with Josh Magennis - caused confusion, with players scampering to make up for his workload, allowing the grateful visitors possession of the football which had previously been denied.
Sure, Hearts had a league match on Friday night and therefore Baraclough no doubt had that in mind for Boyce and Smith, while for Manchester United youngster Ethan Galbraith any exposure to senior international football is important in his development, but in terms of morale, a victory would have been a huge boost for a Northern Ireland squad attempting to find its identity again and with the introduction of fresh, new talent.
While a draw with Romania on the opening night of the Nations League in September was to be celebrated, Wednesday's night point apiece at Windsor Park, in terms of emotion, was down towards the other end of the scale.
Substitutions, in recent times, have been to the major benefit and scourge of Northern Ireland.
Going back to the start to the start of the Euro qualifiers after Northern Ireland had opened with a 2-0 win over Estonia in Belfast, their next three games against Belarus (home), Estonia (away) and Belarus (away) were heavily influenced by substitutions. Josh Magennis came off the bench to snatch the winner against Belarus and then the Hull City hitman, along with Conor Washington, were brought on at half time in Tallin to turn the tide and in Borisov the subs gave the side the impetus to go on a snatch a late win.
Magennis then gave Northern Ireland a shock lead over the Netherlands last October after being brought on and did likewise last Sunday in Vienna against Austria. Sub Whyte, of course, scored the goal which gave Northern Ireland their first ever point in the Nations League back in September.
While a fresh attacking threat has often paid off for Northern Ireland, when a defensive substitution is made, in an effort to shore up a weakening backline, it usually only brings uncertainty and a lack of cohesion.
In Rotterdam against the Dutch, with only three minutes and added time remaining and the game heading for a 1-1 draw, Michael O'Neill threw on Tom Flanagan to bolster his defence, playing alongside Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart. But a once tight back four suddenly developed cracks and the Dutch showed no mercy by scoring two injury-time goals to seal the win.
A couple of days later in Prague, Northern Ireland stormed into a three-goal lead at half time against the Czech Republic, O'Neill made a double substitution on 65 minutes and three minutes later, the Czechs had scored two goals.
In Oslo last month, Jonny Evans, having led a back three admirably, had to depart at half time and his absence ultimately led to Norway forcing home their winner, but in this case Baraclough had no choice there as there was concern about injury. There was more agony in Vienna seven days ago after Austria scored a dubious equaliser, which television pictures clearly showed was offside. Baraclough, in an effort to hold on to a draw, brought on experienced Cathcart for Ballard and skipper Steven Davis replaced Ali McCann.
But Cathcart was caught out by Marko Arnautovic after a quick free-kick left Northern Ireland static and Adrian Grbic was able to fire home the winner.
While international matches are physically and mentally draining, a change, especially in defence, is not always beneficial. Wednesday night's evidence was glaring but, as witnessed, it has happened before.
Going into a new World Cup qualifying campaign in March, Northern Ireland can ill-afford to allow this to continue…