February 25, 2024

Roy Hodgson has hit back at furious Crystal Palace fans over the decision to substitute Eberechi Eze. The former England manager saw his side slump to yet another FA Cup third round defeat, making it their fourth in the past five seasons. A stunning free-kick from Andre Gomes broke the deadlock in the game after 132 minutes were played.

 Responding to the fan’s anger, Hodgson told the Standard: ‘We had to think very carefully about it. I appreciate for the fans it’s a long way to come.  ‘If I was a fan, I wouldn’t have wanted to see Eze taken off either, as he’s one of our best players.

‘But I also would be extremely disappointed as a fan if he’d have played another 30 or 35 minutes and got injured in the process. That would have been extra disappointing.’

He added: ‘We play at 12:30pm on Saturday [against Arsenal] and we need people like Eze, who is one of our very best players.

‘I would have loved all of my players to play 95 minutes, but we decided, in order to protect as many players as we can, that we would replace them with players who also deserved a chance to play.

‘Even without him on the field, I thought we did enough to cause Everton problems and create goal chances — I would say in the last 20 minutes of the game, we had three or four exceptional goal chances.’


Roy Hodgson explains controversial decision to substitute Eberechi Eze in 1-0  FA Cup defeat by Everton | Daily Mail Online

Giving his opinion on the game, Everton manager Sean Dyche said: ‘I’m pleased with the result. We have played better and lost (this season).

‘We never found the fluidity but a fantastic goal seals it in the end. We did look solid, though, and that’s a good base for us to build on. Three clean sheets in a row and three unbeaten now.’


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