Speaking in his post-match press conference following Crystal Palace's loss against Derby County, Roy Hodgson commented on the 11 absent-through-injury players in his squad, providing a brief update on the status of Wilfried Zaha.
After the winger played through injury against Norwich City on Wednesday, Hodgson chose not to field Zaha this afternoon against the Rams, and explained the situation the Ivorian faces.
Hodgson first confirmed "He's injured," and then elaborated when pushed later, saying: "I do [hope he’ll be back against Arsenal]. The fact is he was pressed into service against Norwich, probably defiant of the advice of the sport science and medical people.
"If Wilf had been a different person to the person he is, he wouldn’t have played against Norwich. But he did and he got through the game which was fantastic. I wasn’t prepared to ask him to push himself through another game against medical advice for a cup match, which, if you’re going to lose a game in our situation, Crystal Palace, is the game you prefer to lose to a league game because our aim is not to win the FA Cup, our aim is to stay in the Premier League."
And then turning his focus to the wider squad after the loss of Max Meyer and Jairo Riedewald this afternoon, Hodgson said: "How many injury problems from bona fide first-team players do you need before someone says that in actual fact it’s very difficult for you to field a team at any point in time?
"Counting those two [Meyer and Riedewald] now, that makes 11. How many players are we going to need in our squad to put out what we would think is an equally valid 11 in games like this? I’ve never known a situation where so many players are injured, so many are perhaps long term injuries. We lost [Mamadou] Sakho in the Norwich game and today we lost Meyer and Riedewald who were in their turn, really, were covering for other places."
In more positive news, Hodgson praised the returning Gary Cahill and those first-team players who have been in action over the last injury-hit month: "He [Cahill] was excellent. In fact, all of the players that have really been our regular first-teamers including the two that came on, McArthur and Tomkins, were all excellent."
You can watch Hodgson's full post-match press conference for free via Palace TV. Either click here now or 'Palace TV' within the app.