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First Team

Hodgson Reflects On The Late Heartbreak

25 February 2018

A late Harry Kane header settled the game in Spurs' favour, breaking Palace hearts in the 88th minute to take all three points from Selhurst Park.

An injury to James Tomkins moments before the winner compounded the Eagles' misery, though Hodgson was able to confirm post-match that he was only suffering from severe cramp.

Below are the highlights from Roy's post-match press conference:

On Tomkins' injury: "Tomkins had been very, very good for us in that position. Had you asked me “who is the player you would least like to lose in the last 10 minutes?” He would have been top of the list. He went down with serious cramp and tried to carry on, but we could see straight away that it wasn’t going to work because he couldn’t run properly."

On the decision leading to the Spurs corner: "I was a bit disappointed. The corner kick takes you by surprise really, when you see Aaron Wan-Bissaka about to clear it and all of a sudden a corner kick is given. Of course Tomkins was the one marking Harry Kane and he was off the field. All those things add to the disappointment and the frustration. It’s one of those things in football, had we drawn the game 0-0 despite the fact that Tottenham had the best of the play, the best of the chances and the lion’s share of possession, we’d have actually been feeling very pleased with ourselves in terms of what we have at our disposal at the moment and the way the lads went about their business. When that goal goes in two or three minutes before the end it’s a feeling that deflates you enormously."

On debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka: "I thought he played extremely well, though that wasn’t a surprise. I don’t think we’d have put him in there – however desperate our situation – if we didn’t think he was capable. It was a big ask, because he’s trained with the first team for a period of time now but he’s not really had any opportunities to play in the first team. To get your first game at Selhurst Park against Tottenham Hotspur and the way that they play, and in a team that is a little bit wounded – in terms of those players around you – I thought he handled it extremely well."

On concentration levels: "One of our problems of course was the youth, or the lack of experience, towards the end of the game – especially as we tired – on the occasions where we won the ball back we tended to present it to them again by choosing the wrong option, in terms of choosing a pass or choosing the wrong option about where we play the ball. I completely understand that, but it was a factor towards the end. First half we were a little bit more lucid in terms of knowing what we wanted to do with the ball when we won it back. As we tired and they were just pushing – and hoping – for that magic moment, we gave them one or two more opportunities than we should have done."

On the next few games: "After seven games we were seven or eight points adrift, eight if you count goal difference. We managed to make up those eight points and get ourselves two or three points clear of that relegation zone. If we get the injured players back fit, then who knows? When we field what we think is our best team, we think we can be quite effective. We’ll be working very hard to keep people coming back."

On Fosu-Mensah's ineligibility vs United: "When you loan players that’s what you accept. We’ve known that from the start of the season, in loaning Fosu-Mensah the best he can have is a 36 game season because he can’t play against Manchester United. We’ll have to come to terms with that. We hope that Tomkins will recover. It doesn’t seem to be a serious injury at the moment. Our hopes now lie with Kelly, who will start training on Monday after a long absence, and with Mamadou Sakho, who may return to training or may not."

For extensive post-match reaction, head to Palace TV on or in the app.

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