Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has verified that Michael Olise has sustained a “severe” hamstring injury, a setback that he describes as “devastating” for everyone concerned.
Fans have criticized Hodgson following Olise’s introduction at half-time during Saturday’s 4-1 defeat by Brighton, only for the winger to subsequently limp off the pitch after 56 minutes.
Palace, who were already trailing 3-0, saw Olise exit the match prematurely, adding to his previous injury woes as he had also been forced off during their prior game.
“So many things went wrong that could have gone right,” said Hodgson.
“But we don’t have hindsight and that’s the problem.”
Following the game, Hodgson justified the substitution of Olise, stating that “everyone was quite comfortable” with the former France youth international who was born in London.
“They [the medical team] told me and he told me that he was fine to be on the bench and to play in the second half. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball,” Hodgson said.
Speaking again on Thursday, when looking ahead to Monday’s match against Chelsea, Hodgson rejected supporters’ claims that Olise already had a physical issue but confirmed he has now suffered a hamstring blow.
“It’s devastating for him, for the club, for everybody really,” Hodgson said.
“I don’t think he was carrying an injury, I think it was more fatigue.
“It’s not easy when you’ve got a player like Olise on the bench to turn around and say ‘just sit there’.”
Injuries have restricted Olise to 11 appearances so far this season but he has scored six goals and provided three assists.
“Michael is a quiet guy and that’s another part of this situation,” Hodgson said.
“Another player might have come up and said, ‘Look, I don’t think it’s worth it. I need a bit more time.’
“But that’s not fair on him, he’s just going along with what the club thinks.”
The south London club faced further setbacks as winger Eberechi Eze suffered a muscle injury during the victory against Sheffield United, while defender Marc Guehi encountered a knee issue in the match against Brighton.
With nine defeats in 15 Premier League matches, Hodgson is feeling the pressure, especially as Palace currently sits just five points above the relegation zone in 14th place.
In recent weeks, disgruntled fans have made their voices heard, displaying protest banners during games at Arsenal and Brighton, expressing dissatisfaction with the club’s management.
They also chanted “You don’t know what you’re doing” towards Hodgson when the former England boss substituted Eze after 64 minutes of an FA Cup third-round replay defeat at Everton last month.
Hodgson said the speculation is “not in my control” and will not stop him in his work.
“I think, speculation, there’s always going to be people who are having a bad run with their clubs, and at that time there is going to be speculation about the future of those people, ie the managers, so why should I be any different to that?” he said.
“It’s not in my control, that, it doesn’t affect my daily work. When I come in here, it doesn’t stop me working with the players as I think we should work with the players, it doesn’t stop me selecting the team, doesn’t stop me selecting the tactics and trying to get the team in the best possible shape to play the game.
“This is from the outside and one has no option but to let those things pass and to accept them, as a fact of football life.”