Alan Pardew admits he left Wilfried Zaha out of his Crystal Palace side after Tottenham made an approach to sign him.
Zaha, 23, on Thursday asked Pardew to allow him to join Spurs, resulting in both the manager and chairman Steve Parish insisting they expected him to remain at the club.
Pardew claims he lacked focus and left him out of the starting line-up against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
However, he praised the forward, for overcoming his desire to leave for Spurs and inspiring their comeback in the 1-1 draw that earned Palace’s first point of the Premier League season.
Joshua King’s fine 11th-minute finish gave visitors Bournemouth a deserved lead but after a flat first-half performance, Zaha’s 66th-minute introduction inspired both his team and Palace’s supporters, resulting in Scott Dann’s stoppage-time headed goal.
“I made the decision on Friday (to drop Zaha),” said Pardew. “He’s a young lad, he’s been to Man United, he’s come here and done terrifically for us. Brilliant, our player of the year and for me, I would play him every game. Trust me, I didn’t want to leave him out.
“But I had to understand the pressures that were on him as well. He had a very disruptive week and I thought it was only fair to him to see if we could get through the game, perhaps even without him, but we needed him and he was spot on for us.
“He was terrific when he came on and he showed why the chairman made the statement he did (about Zaha staying).”