Patrick Vieira criticises Chelsea over decision to block Conor Gallagher from playing in FA Cup semi-final.
The 22-year-old joined Palace on a season-long loan from Chelsea last summer and has been one of their star players under Vieira this term.
Palace will face Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley next Sunday but Gallagher will be forced to watch the game from the stands after Chelsea turned down Palace’s special request to allow the midfielder to play against his parent club.
And Vieira believes not allowing Gallagher to play in the FA Cup semi-final will only hinder the midfielder’s development.
‘It’s not the best rule because the only one who will lose is Conor,’ Vieira said.
‘There’s a semi-final, it’s a really exciting game about how you will manage yourself and prepare yourself to play that game, then there’s playing that kind of game and the importance of it.
‘It’s an experience the player is missing and I’m disappointed for him. He has played all the games so far and if there’s somebody who deserves to be in the semi-final, it’s him because of his performances, so I’m disappointed he won’t be able to play.
‘The decision for Chelsea to send him on loan is to play these kind of games. We have as a group an opportunity to play an important game and that game would have given him more confidence and belief.
‘We could lose but for him to have been on the field is what he needs to keep developing himself.
‘Since he has been with us, he has been fantastic and for him not to have a chance to get involved in that game, it is something frustrating for his development. I feel for him because he wanted to play in that game, every player would want to play in that game”
Chelsea battle Crystal Palace for final ticket on Sunday as the winner will face either Manchester City or Liverpool on May 14 at Wembley.