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First Team

Tomkins: Positives To Take From Defeat

29 December 2017

James Tomkins 89th minute header set Thursday’s match against Arsenal up for a dramatic finish but it wasn't to be for Roy Hodgson's side who ended up empty handed against the sixth place side as they couldn't take advantage of the late chances that came their way.

The home side were behind at the break thanks to Shkodran Mustafi’s opener, but four minutes into the second period the game was all square when Andros Townsend scored against the Gunners for the second successive season. Alexis Sanchez’s two goals in four minutes put the visitors in control until Tomkins headed in a late corner.

The defender felt even in defeat positives can be taken from the night’s action and can only reflect on late chances which come and went as the side suffered defeat for the first time in nine outings. 

“They made it difficult for us and the way they move the ball around makes it difficult for the midfielders but in the second half we could have nicked a draw.

“After the break we looked to take the game more to them and get the ball forward to Christian and we knew that would make us more dominant and once we did that we grew into the game.

“I would think our fans would have been pretty happy leaving the ground because even in defeat we keptgoing and there were positives to take out of the performance. Their movement for the goals were brilliant and we knew that we had to defend well against a side of their quality & it’s about concentrating for the full 90 minutes and not letting them get away."

Once again Hodgson’s side scored two at home and came close to adding to that number but at the end of the night the dressing room were left frustrated at the outcome as time run out for the Eagles. 

“If the game had gone for another five minutes I think we would have got something out of the game, the late goal made it interesting but we just couldn’t quite take one of the chances we had late in the match to draw level so we have to reflect knowing it wasn’t quite our day.

“It is a feeling of frustration as our unbeaten run has come to an end and that is disappointing for us but we have the knowledge that we took the game to them to give and posed problems and can certainly count ourselves unlucky not to take anything from the game." 

There will not be too much time for the squad to dwell on the disappointment as in this congested fixture programme the next match is soon around the corner with the side coming up against Manchester City at Selhurst on New Year’s Eve.

An away victory on Sunday would equal the 19 successive wins that Bayern Munich strung together in the 2013-14 season under Pep Guardiola and the 28 year old defender now turns his attention to that game against City.

“It’s important for us to recover well over the next day or so and be ready for Man City, we all know what they are doing this season and are a great team but we will be positive going into the game and see what we can do against them."

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