The Eagles boss had seen his team slip behind when Mohamed Diame was left unmarked to turn home a corner, but after the interval Palace were much better and after levelling when Luka Milivojevic scored from the spot 10 minutes into the second half, they dominated proceedings but couldn’t find a second goal to clinch the victory.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Hodgson spoke about a number of topics, including:
The performance: “I’m a little frustrated. At half-time I wasn’t too happy with the way we played in the first half, even though we created two or three good chances I didn’t think we played anything like I’d like to see the team play.
“As a result you might have thought we would have been happy with a point but the way we played in the second half and the dominance we had in the end, I’m disappointed we didn’t get more than one goal for those efforts. We were asking lots of questions of Newcastle in the second half but that ball wouldn’t just go over the line for us during those goalmouth scrambles.”
Rectifying poor starts: “Maybe it’s nervousness or being concerned about how important the result is and then we find ourselves 1-0 down after poor defending of a corner kick, but we have the ability after half-time to come out as a totally different team.
“We exerted a lot of pressure on Newcastle and had the ball in and around their box, and even though we had 21 strikes at goal a lot of those were from distance which doesn’t interest me, but there was a lot of entries into the penalty area which does. If we can keep doing that then with the type of players we have, then we will score goals.”
Point dropped/gained?: “When you’re one of the teams at the bottom, you don’t drop points because only the teams that go into games saying this is a definite three-pointer drop points. Teams like Newcastle and ourselves don’t drop points, we gain them – sometimes we gain two less than we would like, or perhaps deserved today on our second half performance.”
Alexander Sorloth: “I’ve only seen him in two training sessions and he hasn’t played since the end of November in a competitive game. He’s had two 45 minutes in pre-season in Dubai so I was ideally hoping not to throw him into the deep end until he’s had another week’s training with us.
“To be fair, he would have acquitted himself well out there, but in the second half the three front players did pretty well so if I had changed it, I would have done so not necessarily believing that it was going to make a vast difference. Benteke got better as the game went on and was a constant threat to their defence, and was bitterly disappointed that one or two of those chances that came his way couldn’t be converted.”
Penalty decision: “On the touchline we don’t see those things – the ball comes in and there are a lot of bodies in there so you’d be a brave man to say that you detect all of those things. I’ve seen it on the TV and the rules of the game are clear, but you don’t often get penalties for people pulling shirts, but it doesn’t mean to say that it’s not a penalty because the rule are very clear.
“It’s very rare to see players doing it outside the box to stop a good moment in the game where the referee doesn’t blow his whistle for a free-kick. I can’t say I have a strong opinion of it, but I’m glad about it. Had we lost the game 1-0 because the referee decided to ignore that penalty claim, then we would be feeling very hard done by.”
Individuals: “A lot of players played ever so well in the second half. Wilf’s first half was nothing like we have seen from him recently and in the second half we saw the player we’ve seen for the past two or three months. It’s good that he came alive, but I think the three midfield players also did better in the second half at closing people down and passing the ball, and both full-backs supported very well.”
Watch the full interview on Palace TV or if you’re viewing in the club’s official app, simply head to Palace TV on the bottom menu.