Palace had looked to have fallen to defeat with the Hornets leading with five minutes to go via Daryl Janmaat’s early header, but after Tom Cleverley was dismissed for a second bookable offense, goals from substitutes Bakary Sako and James McArthur snatched a huge win for the Eagles.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Hodgson talked about a number of topics, including:
Assessment of the game: “It wasn’t one of our better performances in terms of the quality of our play, but there have been so many games where it’s been good and not brought us the three points, so like most football managers I’d rather have the three points irrespective of the performance. I commend the players for the determination and resilience to keep going and weather some unfortunate moments during the game.”
Impact of his substitutes: “I don’t take as much credit for those things as some people might want to do. I think you make your substitutions through reason that are forced upon you, such as Fosu-Mensah going injured, It wasn’t our intention to change things, but when you’re losing and you have a fair amount of possession, and you have players on the bench like James McArthur and Bakary Sako, it isn’t a difficult decisions to see if with fresh legs they can do something. If they score goals it makes you a genius.”
Being out of the bottom three: “There’s a long way to go. For a good period of time we’re going to be in and around that relegation zone – one week we’ll be in it and the other we’ll be out of it. I’ll keep pushing my message that each game is an opportunity or a banana skin, and we need to continue to show the fight.”
First half display: “Watford were the better team in the first half but they are a very good team and have had a good start. We weren’t anywhere near as good as we can be but give credit to Watford for not allowing us to get at them as we have done against other teams.”
More late drama: “It was some turnaround. What makes football exciting is that before the game no-one can say what the story will be, and the beauty of the Premier League is that because teams are fit, fight to the end and have bigger squads, we see quite a lot of late drama, and we’ve been involved in a lot ourselves.”
Christian Benteke: “He would have liked to have scored a goal or do something spectacular during the game. It wasn’t easy for him as they had three centre-backs marking him tightly, but the thing that impressed me was that he kept going and didn’t hide.
“He did something incredible in the last minute of the game where he chased the ball down and forced Gomes into a poor kick and killed the game dead. It’s a minor moment but when you’re a coach, sometimes those moments mean a lot to you because we encourage him to work harder on the defensive side of the game.”
Squad morale: “They’re very happy at the moment. As down as they were on Saturday, today is the exact opposite. They have to settle down and enjoy their day off, which they fully deserve, and on Thursday we have to get back to work because we have Leicester City and Swansea away now. If we are to capitalise on these four points at home, we really need to try and take something from those games as well.”
Watch the post match interviews and highlights on Palace TV or on the App go Palace TV and into the video channel.