Patrick Vieira has explained why he had to bring off Tyrick Mitchell in the first half of Crystal Palace’s 2-1 loss at Leicester City.
The England international went down with what looked to be a hamstring problem but continued at the King Power for a handful of minutes after receiving treatment.
With the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea just a week away, Vieira chose to take off his only recognised left-back and bring on right-back Joel Ward.
The Eagles conceded both of their goals after Mitchell was brought off, with Wandsworth-born Ademola Lookman and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall bagging before half time.
Zaha pulled one back for the South Londoners midway through the second half, but they failed to find an equaliser and fell to their first defeat in seven games.
“He felt something on his calf. So, we do not want, of course, to take any, any risk. And that’s why we make a decision just to take him off,” said Vieira.
“But we’d have to wait tomorrow to see how bad it is.”
When asked if he believed Mitchell’s departure changed the balance of the game, Vieira added: “We conceded the goal a couple of minutes after, so, of course, it’s losing this kind of momentum for us to find the right balance.
“But it was difficult. It is not the best for Ward to come in as a left-back, knowing that he used to have these kinds of references on the right-hand side, but he came, and he did his best – he had a good performance.
“For somebody who didn’t play so long, you will need time to get into the rhythm of the games.”