O’Neill said: “Juan Pablo Angel had been involved in every game for us this season and nothing should be made of the fact that he wasn’t even in the 16 for the West Ham and Reading games.
“I just decided with more players to choose from now was the right time to give him a rest. He’d been playing with a niggle for some time.
“There’s no question, he still has a big part to play for this team and club. The new signings don’t affect his position at all. He remains very much part of my plans.”