West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew has admitted that he wanted to make a "statement" by stripping Jonny Evans of the captaincy for this afternoon's FA Cup tie with Southampton.
Evans, who was heavily linked with a move away from the club in the January window, found himself in the headlines for off-field reasons once again this week when it was revealed that he was one of four senior West Brom players alleged to have stolen a taxi during the club's training camp in Barcelona.
Evans was included in the starting XI for the fifth-round clash with Southampton, alongside fellow culprit Gareth Barry, but Pardew confirmed that he wanted to punish the Northern Irishman in some capacity.
"There was a problem in terms of selection because of the incident to go with my strongest team," Pardew told reporters at his post-match press conference.
"I decided to do that. I felt I needed to make a little bit of a statement about the events. I was far from happy over them and made Gareth [McAuley] captain today."
Asked if the punishment would extend beyond Saturday's game, Pardew added: "I'll have to have a look at that this week and see how we go."
West Brom went on to lose the game 2-1 as Southampton progressed into the quarter-finals of the competition.