Roy Hodgson was left to rue his Palace team being unable to capitalise on their first half pressure after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Wolves.
Matt Doherty’s 55th minute strike ultimately settled the game and ensured that the Eagles’ four-game run without a home point or goal continued, but Hodgson felt that had his team been able to score when they were on top of proceedings in the first half, then both of those facts could well be different.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Eagles manager spoke about a number of issues, including:
Where the game was lost: “They took a goal chance at a time in the game where they hadn’t really created anything and we dominated the play, and then after that they were able to defend very well. Our game became more desperate as we chased that goal and gave them the chance to look more solid than they did at the start of the game.
“I think if we really put our hands up and look for why we lost, it was because in our very good first half performance where we had not only the best of the possession but the best of the game, we weren’t able to create those clear-cut goal chances that would have put us 1-0 in front. Had we got the goal that I thought our play certainly deserved in the first half, then it would have been harder for Wolves. As it was, they got it and it made it harder for us.”
Struggle to create chances: “They played very deep so we knew it was going to be difficult but we still created chances and had some good ones. In the first half there were a couple of balls that flew across the six-yard box that could so easily have been goals, and there was a big scramble in the six-yard box and there were several of those in the second half, so it wasn’t as if we played for 90 minutes without creating opportunities.
“It was difficult for us to get those clear-cut chances because there was no reason for them to push out or flood people forward. They could quite happily sit behind the ball and rest on their laurels after taking the lead and then look for the obvious counter-attacking opportunities that would present themselves later on in our desperation to get an equaliser.”
The goal: “We didn’t defend the one-two very well and as a result the guy got into a shooting position and was able to take the chance. I’d have been expecting us to take that chance if one of our players had got in that position, so I can only say it was good work from them and a good goal. But like all good goals you concede, they’re bad goals because somewhere along the way, someone could have done a bit better.”
Home record: “If you go several games without scoring, you feel that pressure. Your own fans come to watch matches and they had seen their team play for three games at home without scoring, so then in the fourth they might be frustrated and disappointed by it. There’s only one way out of the situation, and that’s to make sure we score goals in the next game.”