Keegan told the Evening Chronicle: "I said to James 'I don't think I'll be calling you in too often to say you're not playing.' I just felt we had to try something different. I just felt that was the best way to go to give Emre a chance.
"I also knew Joey Barton would cover that side (on the right wing) a little bit. It was just one of those things that you look at and think how do we just change things a little bit? How can we get a result?
"James was unfortunately the one to make way, and I said to him it's no reflection on how he's played. He has played every game. The sad thing is that he'll go away and play for the under-21s now, and in some ways that was in my mind as well.
"I know Stuart Pearce will play him. He'll rest him in the next one, but play him in this one.
"He needs resting. He's played nearly every minute of every game, and I think Charles N'Zogbia has as well. That's more due to the injuries we've had, and the size of the squad."