Roy Hodgson has defended his decision to bring on Michael Olise during Crystal Palace’s 4-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Olise, 22, was a doubt heading into the game at Amex Stadium after being forced off with injury during his side’s 3-2 victory over Sheffield United on Tuesday.
On Saturday afternoon, with his side 3-0 down, the winger came off the bench to replace Jeffrey Schlupp at half-time, only to re-aggravate an injury and be replaced by Matheus Franca just 11 minutes later. He walked straight down the tunnel.
Hodgson said after the game that he had been cleared to use Olise if he wanted to, saying: “I was told he couldn’t start the game and everyone was quite comfortable with that. They told me and he told me he was fine to be on the bench and play in the second half.
“Unfortunately because I don’t have a crystal ball, I have no hindsight, I wasn’t to know that was to lead to him getting a recurrence of his injury, that’s exactly what we did. It’s the same with the hindsight that says you’re losing 3-0 why put one of your better players on.
“The answer to that is we brought him all the way here to be on the bench to play in the second half and we wanted our better players on the field. It’s not easy when you’ve got a player of his quality able to play to just say ‘oh by the way, I know we’ve brought you all the way here to play, I’ve changed my mind, you’ll just have to sit on the bench and watch it’.”
Palace also lost defender Marc Guehi to injury during the defeat, with the England international being replaced 26 minutes into the game and replaced by debutant Adam Wharton.
After the game, centre-back Joachim Andersen appeared to confront Palace fans upset with their side’s performance.
“No (I didn’t see that),” Hodgson said. “I’m realistic enough and understand enough to know that the fans are going to be very unhappy after seeing their team lose 4-1. So of course, if you go over there and you run the risk of people saying some things then you would have to show the discipline not to bite back.
“The players did the right thing (by going over to the fans). We are happy the fans have come here to support us today. No one is less happy than ourselves at the way the result went, and the way the game went, we have to learn, we have to live with that.
“But at least they went over to these players to thank the fans for coming and to let them know that we were grateful for them coming and grateful for their support here today.
“If then I’m afraid, things are said and people react, so be it, but I’ve got no evidence of that. I know nothing about it.”
The defeat was Palace’s 11th of the season in the league and leaves them just five points clear of the relegation zone. However, despite mounting pressure the former England manager said he still has the appetite to stay on.
He said: “Yes (I want to continue). No problem with that at all. I am very much behind the team, with them, with the players. I know they’re doing their level best and we’re doing our level best.”
Crystal Palace are next in action against Chelsea at Selhurst Park on February 12.
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