‘I was protecting players’ – Hodgson booed for substituting Eze

17 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said he understands fans’ frustrations after being booed during his side’s limp exit from the FA Cup.

Hodgson’s decision to substitute key forward Eberechi Eze in the second half was met with boos and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” by some away supporters.

Palace are away to Arsenal in their next match in the Premier League on Saturday.

“If I was a fan, I wouldn’t have wanted to see Eze taken off either,” Hodgson told BBC Radio London.

“But we play at 12:30 GMT on Saturday 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 unfortunately 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.”

Pressure is mounting on Hodgson, 76, with his side losing eight of their past 14 matches.

Defeat at Goodison Park also means Palace have been eliminated at the third-round stage of the FA Cup in four of the past five seasons, with the exception coming in 2021-22 when they reached the semi-finals.

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