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First Team

Hodgson Happy Despite The Quick Turnaround

28 August 2018

Two games in three days and a 400-mile round trip couldn't dampen Roy Hodgson's spirits after Palace's win at Swansea.

The boss was pleased with plenty after the EAgles' Carabao Cup Roudn Two triumph in south Wales, as he discussed in his post-match press conference.

On the result: "I’m happy. I thought that was a good game. In the first half Swansea were very good, they got around the ball really well, they were sharp, they were quick and they had a really good spell at the start of that first half. It took us a while, I thought, to get our game together. We were going too deep to receive the ball, we had too many players around the ball which meant that we were playing tip-tap football really and that suited Swansea because they got around us and made life difficult.

"Towards the end of the first half I thought we sorted it out, we got Williams and Puncheon further forward and that gave us better options to play the ball in past their midfield players and we started to look a bit better – and I thought we carried that on in the second half.

"We talked about it at half time, made it really clear to the players and I thought they interpreted it well. I thought the performance was very good, but that doesn’t mean to say we had it on easy street at any stage of the game, it was competitive right through to the last minute, especially because we did miss one or two quite good chances for that second goal which would have made life a bit easier for us."

Three games in two days: "It was a difficult one for us because we’ve got a couple of injuries, so that meant we were going to be limited [in selection] anyway and I wanted certain players who are either on the fringes of the first team or haven’t got much of a game yet to get a game. The problem, of course, was that with such a short turnaround I had to use four or five players who either played at the weekend or are going to be needed for next weekend: Wan-Bissaka being a classic example. I didn’t want Kelly to play 90 after his 90 against Watford, but then again I don’t really have the substitute for him, so Ward had to step in and play a part in the game. Williams has not played many matches full stop over the last period of time. I thought he did very well, but it was pretty obvious he’s not going to play 90 minutes as well and I didn’t want Schlupp, who’s one of our regular first teamers, to play 90 minutes. So my problem was that I’m bringing them down here, but how can I juggle it so that they get enough football, but not so much maybe that it’s going to impact upon our Saturday game."

Sørloth: "I thought he played very well today. He worked very hard and his stats will probably be phenomenal, his physical stats. I thought he worked very hard and deserved his goal.

"He’s been making steady improvement in the time he’s been with us. He started very well and then got an injury, but he’s been making steady improvement. He works very hard at his game and we’re pleased that we have that option of a centre forward of his type and a centre forward of Benteke’s type, it can be quite important for you going through a season."

Kouyate and Meyer: "[Cheikhou] got better and better didn’t he? We think he’s a very good player. He and Max, it’s the first time they’ve really played a competitive game of this nature. It was important for them tonight to get a Palace shirt on and play in a Palace team, albeit some of our better known players weren’t here. There were enough good players to make it a proper game for them."

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