After his team came from 2-0 down to snatch a last-gasp draw against West Ham United, Roy Hodgson praised the character of his Palace players, and hopes the performance can be a catalyst for increased confidence in the camp.
The Eagles overturned a two-goal deficit at half-time against the Hammers, with Wilfried Zaha scoring deep into stoppage-time to send Selhurst Park into raptures, and Hodgson was happy to witness his side recover from a disappointing first half display to ultimately come away with a result.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he talked about a number of topics, including:
Claiming a draw: “I still think it’s scant reward personally from the 90 minutes of football. In the first half we weren’t anywhere near as good as we were in the second, and it was merited that we went into it two goals down. In the second half, the domination and the number of times we had the ball in and around the penalty area meant that when we did get those two goals, it was nothing more than the team deserved.”
Ability to come from behind: “It shows me that this team has more character than they’ve sometimes been credited with. I think it would have been very easy for some people at half-time to feel very sorry for themselves wondering how they were two goals down in a game like this, and that things aren’t fair.
“When you’ve been in football for a while you have to come away from what’s fair because it’s a game, not a science, and you don’t always get what you think you deserve, so it was a strong performance in the second half to put that 2-0 scoreline behind us. I’m hoping that it will give a little bit of confidence and security in the minds of these players, who know that even when things are going against us luck-wise, we can turn it around.”
Selhurst crowd: “It was an important day for us in terms of who work at the football club in regards to the fans. I don’t think I’ve been involved in a match which goes to the 95th minute with the home team losing and have virtually nobody leave the stadium, and then have the players cheered the way they were as they came off the field. That speaks volumes for our fans, and if we’re going to survive this season, we’re going to need that help time and time again.”
Wilfried Zaha: “He rescued a point for us in the 96th minute with an excellent goal, so there’s no doubt where the headlines will end up, and deservedly so. He threatened that goal on several occasions beforehand and Joe Hart had an excellent game and made certain it went to the 97th minute with them still in the lead, but we got a great goal and we’re very grateful that Wilfried got that shot away.”
Injuries: “Van Aanholt damaged his hamstring and I can’t tell you how bad the damage is. It’ll have to be assessed and we’ve got to hope it’s not too bad. To rearrange the team like we did also showed the character out there.
“Mamadou Sakho has a calf injury which was after the Newcastle game and he’s not trained all week; he’s been in the treatment room and we were hoping that he would have a Lazurus moment and appear straight onto the field but that didn’t happen. James McArthur got a strange ankle injury against Newcastle when no-one was close to him when it happened, but I wouldn’t rule any of them out of the Spurs game.”