As well as seeing his team exit the FA Cup at the hands of Brighton and Hove Albion, Roy Hodgson revealed post-match that there were further blows for his side with Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp leaving the Amex Stadium on crutches.
Both picked up injuries in the first half of the 2-1 defeat on the south coast, with Schlupp hurting his foot in a challenge with Izzy Brown that saw both forced off, and then Townsend injured an ankle soon after which led to his withdrawal at half-time.
With another two names added to an ever-growing injury list, Hodgson is worried about the pile-up, saying: “We entered the game with seven players out injured and we were being concerned about our future in the league not to lose any more, so to have two players leave the ground on crutches who have been playing regularly for the last couple of months is the bitterest blow.
“It’s always a blow to lose a game of football, especially when we played better than we had in the first half, but I’d swap virtually any result to make sure that we had Schlupp, Townsend and a few other players available to play in the Premier League games coming up.
“One [Townsend] left on crutches and another [Schlupp] left in a surgical boot, and in my experience that tells me it’s not a good sign. Townsend hurt his ankle in the first half and he carried on playing but got taken off at half-time, and Schlupp and Izzy Brown had an enormous collision right in the early part of the game. It was a fair and brave challenge but it’s cost both of them their chance of playing in the next few weeks.”
With the transfer window open and the Eagles squad stretched to its limit, talk has turned to reinforcements, and Hodgson feels that the current injury crisis means that he is now looking for more players than he previously had identified working with Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman.
“We’ve been talking about strengthening our squad since two or three weeks into my time at the club, so nothing’s changed,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for the window to fulfil our wishes in strengthening our squad, and that’s become more vitally important with the number of injuries we’ve suffered.
“You could argue that if we said we wanted three or four, we should now be looking at six or seven because we’ve lost two players for the rest of this season and probably the start of next, and we’ve got some others who are a month or so away from being able to play.
“I don’t think we’re going to get that but logically you can argue it, so our initial thoughts on strengthening have become more important. I’m waiting with bated breath to see who comes through the door so I can get the chance to start working with them.”
Watch the post match interviews and highlights from the Brighton match now or if viewing on the App go to the Palace TV channel.