Roy Hodgson was disappointed that his side weren’t awarded a penalty that could have brought them a precious three points against Watford, but believed that a draw was a fair result as Palace and the Hornets played out a goalless draw.
The Eagles boss saw his team hit the woodwork twice at Vicarage Road through Luka Milivojevic and James Tomkins, and have a penalty denied when Wilfried Zaha was brought down by Adrian Mariappa during the second half, for which Zaha was controversially booked for diving and the Eagles manager believes that the winger’s unfair reputation led to the game’s big decision.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Hodgson spoke about a number of topics, including:
Evaluation of the game: “It was the ultimate game of two halves. Watford were clearly stronger, more determined and more aggressive in the first half and we allowed ourselves to be bullied out of too many situations, but in the second half we came to terms with that and started to match their quality and aggression.
“By doing that we found the time and the space to start playing our football and as a result we consider ourselves a bit unlucky not to have scored the goal that could have won us the game. We had a couple of situations on the goalline when we hit the inside of the crossbar and the inside of the post, and in our opinion we should have had a penalty. I don’t think we deserved more than a point from the game because after the first half we could have come in several goals to nil down.”
Second half penalty decision: “I try hard not to be the person who bellyaches saying we should have had this or that, but having seen it again it was a pretty clear penalty decision and we consider ourselves unlucky there.
“I’m pretty sure that a lot of the people that see it on TV tonight and discuss it are more likely to agree with me than otherwise.”
Zaha: “Reputation is a dangerous thing – who gives them that reputation? He’s suffered badly because other managers come in and they give you [journalists] their version of the story and brand him as someone who dives for penalties, and the more it is written and spoken about, the more the legend is circulated.
“In my long period as a coach, I think I have a reputation as a relatively fair-minded person, and I would point out that he is anything other than a cheat or a diver. He is sometimes far too desperate to stay on his feet because he wants to score a goal himself, and because he moves at such speed there will be times, like in the first half, where he will be unbalanced and the referee saw that and didn’t give the penalty, and in my opinion that wasn’t one.
“I think it’s very unjust the treatment he gets. We are very happy to have him and as much as I wasn’t enamoured by his performance in the first half, I was in the second because he played very well.”
Watch the highlights & post match interviews now or if viewing on the App go to Palace TV on the bottom menu.