Roy Hodgson has backed Luka Milivojevic to bounce back and score his next spot-kick after missing from 12 yards against Everton as the Eagles lost 2-0 at Goodison Park.
The Eagles captain missed just before the hour-mark, and two goals in the final three minutes from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun saw the Merseysiders claim victory right at the death, but Hodgson believes the Serbian – like he did after failing to convert against Manchester City last season – will come back stronger.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Hodgson discussed a number of topics, including:
The penalty miss: “The fact is you have to take your chances and we came across a goalkeeper in form who made two outstanding saves in the first half which meant we came in at half-time 0-0, and we had the penalty which would have made a difference. It definitely lifted the crowd and they really got behind the team and gave them fresh impetus going forward.
“Luka has only missed two penalties out of around nine or 10 so I’m sure he’ll score the next one, and I’m sure we’ll get penalties and opportunities because we do send people forward into the opposing team’s box.”
Two late goals: “I think it was harsh that we conceded a goal because our defending in those moments was good, and I’m certain people wouldn’t have begrudged us a result if we had got one. But we didn’t and we now have to dust ourselves down and lift ourselves up because there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves and talking about what is deserved, because you get what you get. We conceded the goals, they didn’t and they won the game.”
Confidence: “We’ve come to Everton who were on the back of two very good results and have got plenty of praise for those performances, and for the best part of the game not only did we defend well enough to stifle most of their efforts, we looked pretty dangerous ourselves going forward. If we can continue to do that, the goals will definitely come.”
Zaha and Townsend strike partnership: “I think it went well and both played well. They caused problems and did their work defensively as well which helped the team, so I think they’ve got to be very satisfied with their day’s work.
“We do have other alternatives. Sørloth was sick as was Max Meyer, so there’s a couple of players there who I’m sure will be available for the next game, and Connor Wickham after two years at least got onto the field of play; albeit with three or four minutes left and he was unlikely to be able to perform any miracles.”
Tough run coming up: “We’ll continue to do as we have been doing and prepare for the games as best we can to make sure players know what they’re going to come up against. We will continue to work hard to make certain we’re as organised as we can possibly be, and we’ll be hoping that the chances that come our way are taken and that we’re able to defend well enough to stifle the opposition.
“In the last few games we haven’t been exactly been staring down the barrel of a gun for long periods in terms of the opponents scoring, but we can show a bit more ourselves and I think we showed that today.”