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


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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