Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson defends decision to substitute Wilfried Zaha before Newcastle winner

GIUSEPPE MURO
PA

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has stood by his decision to substitute Wilfried Zaha during the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle.

Hodgson replaced Zaha with Ruben Loftus-Cheek after 77 minutes with the score at 0-0 in a move that surprised a section of the Palace support.

Zaha appeared disappointed to be taken off and, after Loftus-Cheek had created a good chance for Palace, Newcastle went on to score a late winner.

“Wilf wants to play every minute of every game,” said Hodgson as he explained why he brought off Zaha.

“But he was tiring because we asked a lot of him and Andros [Townsend] up front.

“They work very hard to create for us and also to defend for us.

“Ruben can cause a threat coming from deep and we thought it might be a good idea to give Wilf a rest and get fresh legs on.”

Sacrificed: Wilfried Zaha (PA)

The defeat means Palace are still bottom of the Premier League table and five points from safety.

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