Roy Hodgson praised Chris Richards after the defender, by trade, played the full 90 minutes in midfield during Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw at West Ham.
The USA international came in for the injured Cheick Doucoure – who is out for six months after rupturing his Achilles – and played just in front of the back four.
Richards won three aerial battles and completed two interceptions against the Irons.
The 23-year-old had played in a similar position under Hodgson when he came on as a substitute in the final few minutes in a goalless draw against Nottingham Forest earlier in the season.
“I thought he did well,” said Hodgson.
“He found out very late. We’ve been preparing all week to play against West Ham with a certain formation in mind and a certain way of playing and attacking, but it had to change at the very last minute when we lost Jeff Schlupp overnight.
“That was a blow for the team to have to come to terms with, but the decision was Chris should go in there.
“We thought that was the best way to help us get a result, and he must be very pleased with his performance as a central midfield player, albeit that he is, by trade, more of a centre-half.”
PICTURE: ROB AVIS
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