Sam Allardyce has defended Morgan Schneiderlin after he was greeted to an array of boo’s when he replaced Idrissa Gueye late on against Crystal Palace.

The French midfielder has come under scrutiny this season, a series of below par performances and the rumours circulating that he and Kevin Mirallas stormed out of training whilst David Unsworth was in charge certainly haven’t helped his case.

When questioned about the welcome to the pitch Schneiderlin received, Allardyce said: “I’m surprised, very surprised. I’ve not heard it before.

“He is a very important part of the squad this year. Lots of players haven’t played to the potential they have.

“What it says is that they think he should be doing better.”

The former England boss added: “I think we all strive to do better whenever we can and we go through a bad period which has happened for players this season. We are ­overcoming it, especially at home.

“It is very important players in the squad are supported. Confidence is everything especially when you are playing at home, so I was surprised.”

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